ENG 101 College Composition

This online research guide was developed in collaboration with your instructor to assist you in finding resources for your persuasive essay assignment. It provides valuable information about print and electronic library materials, website resources, and citing style guidelines.

How to Choose and Narrow a Topic

Some suggestions for getting started:

  • Visit the Choosing & Defining a Topic MCC Library guide for tips on selecting a topic and doing research. The guide also contains a list of possible topics.
  • Visit the following sites for ideas on possible persuasive essay topics:
    • Best Information on the Net: Hot Paper Topics - From O'Keefe Library at St. Ambrose University this site provides a list of topics and links to evaluated websites for further research.
    • Hot Paper Topics - From B.D. Owens Library at Northwest Missouri State University this site provides ideas for topics and thesis statements.

Gather Background Information

Reference Books

Atlases, dictionaries, directories, encyclopedias, handbooks, and other specialized reference books provide background information and are often a good place to start your research. Since Reference books are not part of the Libraries' circulating collection, they cannot be checked out. You can photocopy pages from books in the Reference collection. Photocopies are 10 cents per page.

The Reference page of the Social Issues Research Guide provides access to electronic Reference books available in library subscription databases.

The Reference books listed below profile a number of important social issues. Search the Library Catalog to locate additional Reference and Circulating books in our collection that contain information on your topic.

  • Social Issues in America: an encyclopedia City Ref Ref HN 57 .S264
    A tool for researching the historical and contemporary details of major issues confronting American society. Use the Index located in Volume 8 to look up a topic. Also available online in the Sharpe Reference database.
  • CQ Researcher - Published weekly, this resource provides in-depth reports on current "hot" topics and issues that are in the news. Reports also include charts, graphs and photos. The Library owns this title from 1991 to present. Current year's issues are located on the Current Periodicals shelves.
  • Statistical Abstract of the United States Ref HA 202.U5
    This resource contains a collection of statistics on social and economic conditions in the United States. The most recent version of the Statistical Abstract is available online at: http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/

How to Find Books

To see what books and other materials we own in our collections you need to search the MCC Libraries Catalog. You can search the MCC Library Catalog by keyword, subject, author, or title.

To Access the MCC Libraries Catalog

Books held in the circulating collection at the Leroy V. Good Library (Brighton campus) that have call numbers beginning with letters A - P are located on the 3rd Floor, while books that have call numbers beginning with letters Q - Z are located on the 4th Floor. Books held in the circulating collection at the Damon City Campus Library have "City" in front of their call number.

How to Find Articles

To Access MCC Libraries Article Databases

  • Go to http://www.monroecc.edu/go/library
  • Click "Find Articles and Online Databases" and select a database
  • If off-campus, follow on-screen directions to log-in to EZproxy

Select one of the databases listed in the chart below to get started. These databases are considered full-text resources. This means that in most cases, you are able to retrieve the entire article directly from the database.

Recommended Databases Coverage
Academic OneFile
Academic Search Complete
Associates Program Source
Databases listed in the "General-All Research" category cover a wide range of topics, and are often a good place to start your research.
Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center
Points of View Reference Center
Controversial Topics
InfoTrac Newsstand
Newspaper Source Plus
Newspaper databases that containarticles on local, regional, national and international news.

Other Databases

Remember that in addition to the databases mentioned above, you can always search a subject specific database to locate information on the topic you are interested in. For example, to find information on health related topics try searching the databases listed in the "Health" category such as the "Health Reference Center Academic.

Website Resources

The following websites serve as portals to information on controversial topics. The Websites page on the Social Issues Research Guide provides links to additional websites that contain information on controversial topics.

For tips on how to evaluate information found on websites visit our Web Site Evaluation guide.

Citing Your Sources

The following tools are available to assist you with the citing process:

Many library databases have built-in citation tools which allow you to create citations for chosen articles in MLA and other style formats. Be sure to check the citations generated from within these databases, and from any free web-based citation helpers as they may require further editing!

The Citing & Writing Resources guide also provides links to information on various citing styles (MLA, APA, CSE) and on the writing process. For more information on these and other citing styles, refer to the print style manuals available in the MCC Libraries collection or check with your instructor.

Need Additional Help?

The Library website contains links to numerous publications, research guides and tutorials developed by MCC Librarians to assist you with your research needs. To access these library help guides online visit the MCC Libraries Research Guides page.

Library Services for Students who are Exclusively Off-Campus

MCC Libraries provides distance learning library services to students who are currently enrolled in an MCC SUNY Learning Network (SLN) fully online course, and are not taking any on campus courses at either the Brighton or Damon City Campus, or any hybrid or web enhanced classes using ANGEL. Visit the Who Qualifies for Distance Learning Library Services page for further information.

The Distance Learning Library Services & Resources website provides links to additional information on how to find books and articles, access to research guides & tutorials, and other SLN Course Web Links pages.

Contacting the Teacher

Elizabeth Johnston teaches ENG 101 College Composition. Students taking the ENG 101 course online through the SUNY Learning Network (SLN) can contact her through the "Communicate" link available in their SLN ANGEL Course Map page, and by telephone (585) 292-3383.