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English Research Guide  

This guide will help you with research in the field of English literature.
Last Updated: Jun 9, 2014 URL: http://libguides.adams.edu/english Print Guide RSS Updates

Heaton ENG 102 Print Page

Critically Evaluate Your Sources

Content and Purpose

  • What is the source of information about?
  • What is the purpose of the information? Is it to inform, teach, sell, entertain or persuade?
  • Is the information fact, opinion or propaganda?
  • Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
  • Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional or personal biases?


  • Who is the author/publisher/sponsor of the information/website?
  • What organizations is the author and/or sponsor affiliated with?
  • What are the author's qualifications to write on the topic?


  • Where does the information come from? Is it supported by evidence?
  • Can the information be verified?
  • Does the language or tone seem unbiased and free of emotion?
  • Are there spelling, grammar or typographical errors?


  • Who is the intended audience?
  • How useful is this source in comparison to other sources available?
  • Would this be a strong source to use in a research paper?


  • When was the content published? Updated?
  • Does the website have working links?
  • Does it matter if the information on the subject is current or not?

Links for Library Instruction Session

Best Bets for Researched Argument Paper

Quick access to Nielsen Library's best databases for issues-based research:

  • CQResearcher
    The Congressional Quarterly Researcher provides in-depth reports on controversial subjects such as gun control, health care, and obesity. The reports include a Pro/Con view, chronology of events, current situation awareness, and lists further resources. An excellent resource for a position paper.
  • Academic Search Complete
    A comprehensive resource covering all academic disciplines, with full text provided for over 4,600 journals. Good for researching any academic topic.
  • Nielsen Databases by Subject
    Also check for databases specific to your subject of interest. For example, GreenFILE is an excellent database for researching environmental issues.

How to Search CQ Researcher

There are many ways to identify and research topics with CQResearcher:

  • Explore the Featured Report, Hot Topics, and Recent Reports on the homepage.

  • Search for a keyword, using the quick search box or by using filters on the Advanced Search page.

  • Use Browse Topics which allows you to browse all reports on all topics and narrow the focus of your research.

  • Use Browse Reports by Date of publication, which allows you to locate the most recent reports published or to see all reports published in a particular year.

  • Use Browse by Issue Tracker, which allows you to see all of the reports published on a narrowly defined topic.

  • Use Browse by Pro/Con, which lets you select a report based on the expert Pro/Con debate feature contained within each report.


Nielsen Library Catalog


Best General Bets for all Paper Topics


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