Research Guide: Research Writing (ESL 095)

Library Catalogs--find books & media


MnPALS Quick Fitz Library Catalog

Search for books and audio-visual materials located in the Fitzgerald Library. Check your account for Due dates & Renewals


To get both sides for an issue look for the following series books:

  • At Issue
  • Opposing Viewpoints
  • Taking Sides
  • Reference Shelf

Reference Universe

Provides access to all print & online reference materials in the Fitzgerald Library

You may search WorldCat to locate materials not in our library. Click on "full text button Find it at SMU" to order. For more information about how to obtain these items see our Interlibrary Loan page.

Databases & Indexes--find articles in journals & newspapers


CQ Researcher

Provides in-depth, unbiased reports on current issues. Coverage includes topics in health, social trends, criminal justice, international affairs, education, the environment, technology, and the economy. Each report features pro/con statements from representatives of opposing positions. CQ researcher is useful for term papers, debates, and speeches. Now includes PLUSArchive, with articles going back to 1923 for an historical component, and Global Researcher, bringing an international perspective.


EBSCO's Academic Search Premier

Search for your topic in 8,000+ scholarly journals and magazines. Covers all academic subjects. Good place to start.


All EBSCO databases

Along with the multi-disciplinary Academic Search Premier, EBSCO has specialized databases for business, education, history, and religion topics, as well as a general, non-academic database, MasterFile.


Expanded Academic ASAP

Gale®’s premier database for research in all the academic disciplines. Provides over 4,000 journal titles many of which are in full text. (from Gale's InfoTrac )

1980 --current | Some full text | More info


Points of View Reference Center

Points of View Reference Center™ is a full-text database consisting of a series of essays that present multiple sides of a current issue. The database provides 250 topics, each with an overview (objective background/description), point (argument),counterpoint (opposing argument), and Critical Thinking Guide. (from EBSCO)

Full text | More info


ProQuest's Newspapers

Search for your topic in 500+ newspapers. Includes full text for the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.


All ProQuest databases

Choose from databases covering issues in criminal justice, education, religion, philosophy, or psychology.


Westlaw's Campus Research

A comprehensive collection of news, business, and law-related information sources.  Excellent news coverage.


Choose from all Fitzgerald Library indexes and databases


To locate full text articles from abstracts and citations click on full text icon Full Text Options - Saint Mary's University

For help Ask a Librarian


Journals A-Z

Search an A-Z list of all journals, magazines, and newspapers in the Fitzgerald collection both online and in print. If we do not have the journal you need to access your article, you may order the article through interlibrary loan.


Research Help

Search tips (Boolean operators truncation/wildcards), citation examples, and more



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Reference Books

Statistical Information

American Attitudes: Who thinks what about Issues that Shape our Lives 
R306.0973 M68
Social Change in America
R317.3 S67
Statistical Abstracts of the United States
R317.3S79 2008
World Almanac
R317.3 W92 2008
American Time Use
R 317.3 A51

Ethics/Ethical Information

Animal Rights R 179.3 Y81
Companion to Ethics R170 C73
Encyclopedia of Animal Rights and Animal Welfare R 179.3 E56
Encyclopedia of Applied Ethics vol. 1-4 R170.3 E56a
Encyclopedia of Bioethics vol. 1-5 R1742.E56 2004
Encyclopedia of Ethics vol. 1 & 2 R170.3E56
Ethics vol. 1-3 R170.3 E84
Euthanasia R179.7 E91c 2008
Legalized GamblingR363.42 H37
Obesity in Childhood and Adolescence R 618.92398 O12

Marriage & Family Issues

International Encyclopedia of Marriage & Family R306.803 I61 2003 V. 1-4
Marriage Family and Relationships R306.8 B87



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Recommended Web Sites for Controversial Issues


Best Information on the Net

From St. Ambrose University, this site contains links to credible Internet materials for research organized as "Hot Paper Topics," "Resources by Major," and other useful categories.


Intelligence Squared Debates

Listen to reasoned debates on controversial issues and link to the supportive resources for each side. About


Public Agenda

"For over a quarter of a century, Public Agenda has been providing unbiased and unparalleled research into what the public really thinks about issues ranging from education to foreign policy to immigration to religion and civility in American life. Nonpartisan and nonprofit, Public Agenda was founded by social scientist and author Daniel Yankelovich and former Secretary of State Cyrus Vance in 1975. Public Agenda's two-fold mission is to help American leaders better understand the public's point of view and to ensure that citizens know more about critical policy issues so they can make thoughtful, informed decisions."

"Is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) public benefit corporation whose purpose is to inform the public about controversial issues using facts, news, and hundreds of diverse opinions in a pro-con format."



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Government Web sites

Portal Sites

  • GPO Access
    GPO Access is a service of the U.S. Government Printing Office that provides free electronic access to a wealth of important information products produced by the Federal Government."
  • Statistical Abstracts Online
    The Statistical Abstract of the United States, published since 1878, is the authoritative and comprehensive summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States.
  • U.S. Census Bureau
    Provides "quality data about the nation's people and economy." Part of the U.S. Department of Commerce
    Official portal for government services and information.



  • Department of Education U.S.
  • Digest of Educational Statistics
    A compilation of statistical information covering the broad field of American education from pre kindergarten through graduate school. The Digest includes a selection of data from many sources, both government and private, and draws especially on the results of surveys and activities carried out by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).
  • ERIC 
    Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, ERIC "produces the world's premier database of journal and non-journal education literature.
  • Minnesota Department of Education

Health and Human Services

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    Web site for the public health agency known as the CDC that works to prevent and control infectious and chronic diseases, injuries, workplace hazards, disabilities, and environmental health threats including terrorism. Site provides access to research over a wide range of health and safety issues. The CDC is one of the components of the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, whose web site also provides good information on health issues, as well as information about services for children and families, Medicare and Medicaid, issues of aging, and much more.
  • FDA U.S. Food and Drug Administration
    Another part of the Health and Human Services Department, the FDA provides information on food and drug safety and includes materials on cosmetics and medical devices. Look for the Hot Topics list.
  • Household Products Database
    From the National Library of Medicine, information about the chemical ingredients in specific brands, health effects and toxicity data for products, and more.
  • Substance Use Data in Minnesota

    This Minnesota State Epidemiological Profile summarizes and characterizes consumption patterns and consequences related to the use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs (ATOD) in Minnesota.


  • The Thomas site
    "In the spirit of Thomas Jefferson, legislative information from the Library of Congress"


    " is a search engine for government science information and research results. Currently in its fourth generation, provides search of more than 50 million pages of science information with just one query, and is a gateway to over 1,800 scientific Web sites.
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency



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To locate full text articles from abstracts and citations click on full text icon Full Text Options - Saint Mary's University


For help Ask a Librarian