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ESL Level 6 - Spring 2023 - Molly Popchock: Library Research

Find credible sources for Molly Popchock's research assignments


Sustainable Development, Renewable Energy 
and Related Topics


solar power cartoon

 Source: NASA

Contacting Tim

Not finding what you need?

Feeling frustrated?

Having trouble using the library databases?

Then it’s probably time to a
sk a librarian for some help.

Tim Aman, SCC Librarian

If you need immediate help, contact a librarian any time using our online chat service.

24/7 live chatchat 

(Evenings and weekends you may be chatting with a librarian from another college. Ask for an SCC librarian to contact you for follow-up if needed.)

Steps in the Research Process

Is this your first time doing research?  Just follow these eight steps.

  1. make sure you understand the assignment

  2. clearly state your topic

  3. think about the search words you will use to find information

  4. select the library research databases you will use

  5. search for and select your sources

  6. collect the citations for your sources

  7. take notes from your sources

  8. create your presentation

Finding Images and Videos

Google Image Search logo


YouTube logo

Recommended Sources and Searching Tips

The purpose of this research guide is to help students in Molly Popchock's ESL class find credible and academic information sources.  This guide will suggest useful sources, search techniques and evaluation methods for researching your topic.


When searching for information think about the search words you will use, such as: 

  • solar panels / solar energy / solar power
  • wave energy / wave power / tidal energy
  • sustainable development / renewable energy


Scholarly Encyclopedias - concise, general background information; articles often written by experts who are university professors

Periodicals - magazines, newspapers, scholarly journals

Articles in periodicals often focus on a narrow aspect of a topic.  Here's an example of a search in ProQuest:

ProQuest search example


  • eBook Collection - 150,000 ebooks selected for college and university researchers
    Note: Don't worry about reading a whole book. Just look for small bits of information that you can use for your research.

Controversial Topics

  • Gale Opposing Viewpoints - Information on controversial social issues with viewpoint essays, topic overviews, statistics, primary documents, and full text magazine and newspaper articles



  • Library databases have features to create MLA citations automatically.

Searching for Information on the Web

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

  • Who's the author or organization responsible for the information?  Does the author or organization have expertise?
  • 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?

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:

"electric motorcycles" "developing countries"

"solar panels" "sustainable development"

MLA Citation Examples

Online image

Creator’s Last name, First name. “Title or description of the digital image.” Title of the website, Publication date, URL.

Al-Rubaye, Ahmad. “The photo shows Iraqi schoolgirls in one of the many temporary schools built after the end of the war.” Mufta, 27 May 2013,

YouTube video

McGonigal, Jane. “Gaming and Productivity.” YouTube, uploaded by Big Think, 3 July 2012,

   TED Talk

    Allende, Isabel. "Tales of Passion." TED: Ideas Worth Spreading, Jan. 2008,

Steps for Creating a PowerPoint

1. Create a Storyboard to plan the layout of your slides


2. Create a rough draft of your slides in PowerPoint

3. Add images/videos

4. Create transitions and animations to enhance visual interest