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ENGL 101 - Fall 2021 - Cordero: Multimedia Research Project

Find credible, enlightening, and relevant information on social issues


Multimedia Research Project:

Creating a Podcast or Video
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The purpose of this research guide is to help students in Janelle Cordero's ENGL 101 class find credible and academic information sources.  Your assignment asks that you identify a social issue that is "timely and relevant."  You will research the social issue and "find at least four sources that are credible, enlightening, and relevant to your topic and your stance."  This guide will suggest useful sources, search techniques and evaluation methods for researching your social issue.

When to Ask a Librarian for Help

When you're not sure how to select the best library databases for your topic.

When you need help identifying search words

When you aren't sure if your source is sufficiently credible and academic for the assignment

When you've found an interesting citation but can't find the full text

When you've spent a lot of time searching without good results

When you're feeling frustrated

Getting Help from a Librarian

Questions about research, citation, login, or other?

 Contact a librarian any time!

Recommended Sources and Searching Tips


Controversial Topics

  • CQ Researcher - reports providing in-depth, unbiased coverage of political and social issues
  • Opposing Viewpoints - reference, news, magazine, and journal articles as well as statistics, videos, audio clips and recommended websites providing pro and con coverage of controversial political and social issues

Periodicals - magazines, newspapers, scholarly journals


  • As you begin your research think about the search words you'll use.  For example, when searching for information on "self-driving vehicles" you might also try "autonomous vehicles" or "driverless vehicles."  Keep a list of your search words and add to it as you find new words.
  • When searching, use quotation marks to keep phrases together:  "voting rights'", "Black Lives Matter", "autonomous vehicles"
  • If you have too many results when using the library research databases try changing the search fields.  Here's an example from Academic Search Complete that shows the search fields changed to Subject Terms.  In other words, retrieved articles must really be about that subject, rather than just mentioning the words in a minor way.

sample Academic Search Complete search



The Spokane Public Library has a streaming service called Kanopy that includes an extensive collection of documentaries.  As an SCC student, you can use Spokane Public Library resources, regardless of whether you live in the city of Spokane or not.  This guide has information about how to access Kanopy.

                Kanopy logo

Evaluating information and domain searching

WWW Test - ask these questions when determining whether a source is reliable, especially when Googling.

  • Who's the author?  Is the author an expert?
  • What's the nature of the information?  Is it objective or biased?  Is it based on careful research?
  • When was it written?  Is it appropriately up-to-date?

Note:  Evaluating information can be more complicated than answering these simple questions. If you need help thinking through the evaluation process, ask a librarian or your instructor.

Domain Searching

Try limiting your Google search to a particular domain (such as .edu or .gov which are restricted domains). You may find more reliable information.  Here are a couple of search examples:

"Black Lives Matter"

"autonomous vehicles"