Research Guide: English Composition (E120 Dr. Sokolowski)

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 -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 over 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 education, religion, philosophy, or psychology.



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


Services for Undergraduates



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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

Controversial Issues

Abortion in the United States R 363.46 M11
Encyclopedia of Animal Rights and Animal Welfare R179.3 E56
Encyclopedia of Applied Ethics vol. 1-4 R170.3 E56a
Encyclopedia of Bioethics vol. 1-5 R1742.E56 2004
Encyclopedia of Crime and Punishment R364.03 E564
Encyclopedia of Social Problems vol. 1-2 R361.103 E56
Euthanasia R179.7 E91c 2008
Legalized Gambling R363.42 H37
Obesity in Childhood and Adolescence R618.92398 O12
Oxford Companion to Global Change R363.7 O98



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Find a Topic


Best Information on the Net

From St. Ambrose University, this site provides "guides on popular topics with authoritative sources to help students gather excellent information for their papers and projects."


Ethics Updates

Links to sites that examine controversial issues from an ethical perspective, includes video conferencing.


Intelligence Squared Debates

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


National Debate Tournament

Lists National Debate Tournament topics from 1946 to current. Get ideas for topics here.

"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."


Points of View Reference Center


Read newspapers!



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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.


    "Presented by the Library of Congress, is the official website for U.S. federal legislative information."


    " 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