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English as a Second Language Research Guide

Resources for students in English as a Second Language (ESL) courses at Pasadena City College

Welcome to your Research Guide

ESL 005

A Guide to support your Research Paper Projects


When Brainstorming - you usually need to acquaint yourself with a topic. But what topic will you choose, and how do you begin learning about the topic so that you can brainstorm further?

These databases are great starting points:

Gale in Context: Opposing ViewpointsOpposing ViewpointsThis database provides information about a variety of topics and offers resources that support contrasting views about those topics. You can search for topics by keyword or browse a topic list.


Gale Ebooks Gale Ebooks: This database provides ebooks that provide background and general information to a wide range of topics. Search here after you have identified your topic, but are still brainstorming questions about your topic. 

Use the worksheet below to help you brainstorm!  You can download it and refer back to the brainstorming video for tips on how to fill it out. 

EBSCO Details

EBSCOhost provides a number of subscription databases which provide access to newspapers, magazines, scholarly journals and trade publications. Its databases cover multiple subjects and academic disciplines. Currently enrolled students have free access both on campus and off campus. Off campus access requires 'authentication' with a LancerPoint Username and password. High school students and public visitors are limited to access from within the library on our public access stations or through a wireless connection on campus.

You can locate EBSCOhost and other databases from the Browse Databases page.

EBSCOhost (Combined):  This EBSCO database will search all of EBSCO products that we have access to and will be the one you will use. PCC offers a brief video with instructions for using this database, and more advanced ways to improve your search,


When you search in EBSCOhost, you will see three search boxes.  Use these to split up your keywords to help you with your search. There are drop downs that say "AND, OR, NOT".  To keep your search simple, leave the "AND" in these boxes. 

EBSCO search modes




After you get your search results, you might want to "refine your results" by using the filters on the left-side of the screen. You can filter the date range of the resources, the types of resources (newspapers, magazines, scholarly articles), plus more options!

EBSCO search refinements



When you use a quote or an idea from a source (even if you paraphrase the idea in your own words), you must list the source's author and the page number, if available, in parentheses.  

This is called an an in-text citation. It should have a corresponding citation on your Works Cited list, which is the full list of all the sources you utilized for your research project. Below, you'll find an example an in-text citation and a Works Cited citation. 

In-Text Citation:

"We think of sexual harassment as a problem unique to the business environment, but this unlawful behavior is commonly found on our nation's college and university campuses" (Ramson 39). 

Corresponding Works Cited list Citation: 

MLA 8 sample citation showing article found in a database: Author's name, last name first followed by a period. Title of article in quotes, with a period at the end. Title of journal in italics, followed by volume and issue number comma date of publication comma page range period. Name of database in italics comma URL or website address of article.

For a comprehensive resource on MLA, visit:  OWL EXCELSIOR

The PCC Library also has its own CITATION GUIDE FOR MLA

If the activity isn't loading, please click on "reuse" below or refresh. Once it is visible, you can click through the slides and answer the questions on each. At the end, you can save your score by choosing the "print" icon and save the "current slide" as a PDF. Submit the PDF to your professor for credit!