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English Research Guide

Welcome, ENG 1A students!

These are the slides shown during the "live"/recorded library research session:

Book & Ebook Search

Searching for books & ebooks can be done by following these steps:

  • Start on the PCC Library homepage, and click on the Books tab
  • Enter your keywords for the topic you are researching (for example, universal health care), and click Search
  • The page will display a list of results. By default, the results will include both print AND ebooks.
  • To view ebooks only, click on Available Online filter on the left hand side
    • To access ebooks:
      • Click on an ebook's title
      • Then, click on a link within the View Online section
  • To view physical books only, click on Held By Library filter on the left hand side
    • See How Do I Borrow a Book? for information regarding checking out physical books
    • When/if asked to login, use the same login you use for Canvas and LancerPoint

Screenshot of PCC Library homepage, with Books tab circled and arrow pointing to it.

Recommended Databases

Looking for more databases to choose from?
Check out PCC Library's full list of databases on the A-Z Database List page!

Database Searching Tips

Consider these search tips while using the library databases:

  • Selecting the Peer reviewed filter will bring back just the scholarly/peer-reviewed content that has been reviewed by experts before it was published.
  • When selecting keywords to search on, consider brainstorming synonyms and related terms. For example, if researching Freedom of Speech, synonyms and related terms include: First Amendment, artistic expression, political protests, and free speech on the internet.
  • Use AND to focus your search on a smaller result set. For example, searching on Global Warming AND Consumerism is a more focused search than just Global Warming and will bring back much more refined results.

Using Google Scholar

Google Scholar provides a broad search for scholarly literature, including articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions. Note that not all articles are available in full text.

Before using Google Scholar, check out this brief video below to learn how to set it up to connect you to articles that are available via PCC Library -- super handy!

Looking for Topic Ideas?

Opposing Viewpoints database

PCC Library's Opposing Viewpoints database has a helpful page for browsing topics related to current events and social issues. Here is how to access it:

  • Start on the Opposing Viewpoints database homepage
  • If asked to login, use your LancerPoint login
  • Click on a button called Browse Topics
  • Browse the list for topics that interest you! Each item on the list is clickable to find out more about it.

Screenshot of Opposing Viewpoints database, with Browse Issues button circled and arrow pointing to it.

Pew Research Center

The Pew Research Center website is a great resource for browsing topic ideas on current social issues. Here is how to access it:

  • Start on pewresearch.org
  • Click on a button called Topics
  • Browse the list for topics that interest you! Each item on the list is clickable to find out more about it.

Screenshot of Pew Research Center homepage, with Topics button circled and an arrow pointing to it.