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ESL Level 6 - Summer 2020 - Molly Popchock: Library Research

This guide will help students in Molly Popchock's ESL class find relevant library resources


Researching the Water Crisis
and Other Topics

 dry ground in the Sonoran Desert

Dry ground in the Sonoran Desert, Mexico
© Tomas Castelazo
Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons license CC BY-SA 4.0

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.)

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 on the water crisis consider also trying other words, such as 

  • water scarcity
  • water shortage
  • water security
  • water supply



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

Controversial Topics

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 Academic Search Complete:




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



  • Library databases have features to create MLA citations automatically.

Evaluating information and domain searching

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:

water crisis

water scarcity