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English 110 - Bryan: Topics & Background Info

This guide provides search strategies and recommended resources for research in English 110 with Prof. Bonny Bryan.

Choosing a Topic and Finding Background Information

Try creating a concept map to brainstorm topic ideas.

You don't have to choose a controversial topic for this assignment. However, pro/con databases and websites are also  great places to get ideas about current social issues:

  • Explore the Browse Issues section of the Opposing Viewpoints in Context database for topic ideas (you'll be prompted to log in with your Pipeline information from off campus).
  • Explore the issues on the ProCon.org website (this website is freely available and won't require a login).

Library reference sources are a great place to find objective background information on your topic. They can also help you narrow your topic and discover keywords for further searching.

Online Reference Sources

To access this reference database from off campus, you will be prompted to log in with your Pipeline username and password.

Print Reference Sources

The following reference books are located in the Luria Library reference section. Ask a librarian for help finding the best book for your topic.

  • Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity, and Society -- R 305.8 S294e
  • Encyclopedia of Racism in the United States -- R 305.800973 M663e
  • Encyclopedia of Contemporary American Social Issues -- R306.0973 S528e 2011
  • American Countercultures: An Encyclopedia of Nonconformists, Alternative Lifestyles, and Radical Ideas in U.S. History -- R 306.1 M678a 2009
  • Encyclopedia of Social Problems -- R 361.1 P261e
  • African Americans and Criminal Justice: An Encyclopedia -- R 364.089 J76a 2014

Narrowing a Topic

The following video provides strategies for narrowing a topic (from off campus you will need to log in using your Pipeline username and password):