Library Home Page DACC College Home Page


Library Home

Search for Articles

Research Tools and Noodletools

Logging In

English Composition & Speech


Electronic Reference



Citing Your Sources


Topic Selection


M. Jarmer's 102



English and Speech

English composition and speech classes differ from other types of courses in terms of their research needs because the subject of the course does not determine the topic of the project. For this reason, recommending resources for these classes is somewhat more difficult. Depending upon the nature of the topic, you may find that the library has databases specifically focussed on the subject area. For this reason, don't hesitate to search for databases by subject.

The nature of speeches and research papers, however, make certain library resources especially useful for many researchers. These are included below


Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center — The Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center provides access to essays, background information, magazine and newspaper articles, statistical sources, images, and web site referrals on a wide range of controversial subjects. The "viewpoint essays" are intended to provide arguments from varying perspectives on these topics. These and the background essays are all taken from Greenhaven Press' respected book series' Opposing Viewpoints, At Issue, and Current Controversies and represent up to date information in the subject area in an e-book format.

EBSCOHost Academic Search Premier and others The EBSCOHost collection includes several different databases that may be of use, depending on the precise nature of your research. Academic Search Premier is the principal database and will provide solid research on almost all topics related to psychology and child development. But EBSCO also includes several specialized databases in the subject areas of health and medicine, education, business, literature, and military topics. Searches can also be set up in a variety of ways to control the date and type of items retrieved.

Expanded Academic ASAP — Another good general database, Expanded Academic (previously known as Infotrac), can be searched at the same time as Opposing Viewpoints or separately. It is especially useful when users are in the process of narrowing down their topics, so that it's subject search technique (where it suggests possible subjects to fit your keywords), can help you think about your project.

Lexis-Nexis Academic - is a news-oriented full-text database that also includes special subject areas of medicine, business, and law as well as general reference resources. Among its special features are transcripts of broadcast news programming and foreign newspaper stories. The legal database provides quick access to both federal and state statuatory law and case law and patent searching.

Dictionaries, Background and Special Information Sources

back to top

Other electronic resources available to students are:

CQ Researcher — Of particular use to composition and speech students is the online publication CQ Researcher. Issued by Congressional Quarterly, CQ Researcher offers balanced examinations of a single controversial topic in each weekly issue. Topics range as widely as government secrecy to teen sex.

Books and Subject Headings

back to top

In order to search for books or videos in the library, use the online catalag:

DACC Library Catalog

You can also jump directly into searching the catalog of the entire system of libraries of which DACC is part, if you know that the item you want is not available from the DACC library:

I-Share Catalog

Internet Sites

back to top

The following internet sites are reliable sources of information for different kinds of information that students are frequently searching for:

The U.S. Census Bureau — lots of information about the nature of the population of the United States. Who we are. What we do. Where we work. How healthy we are. Etc. This site includes the online version of the Statistical Abstract of the United States, one of the best resources of statistical information available.

The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press — A wealth of survey research, analysis and commentaries from an independent research organization.

American Popular Culture - Resources for Analysis — This website, built by researchers associated with the University of Washington, contains critical content related to a variety of media and cultural forms (from television to fashion) and addresses issues from race and imperialism to censorship. It offers examples of various approaches to analysis as well. Highly useful.

Voice of the Shuttle — a database of links to Humanities resources on the web, this rich site provides access to resources as diverse as critical theory and museums, pedagogy and traditional literary journals. Invaluable.

Popular Culture: Online Communication Studies Resources — University of Iowa archive of pop culture resources and links related to pop culture materials.

iTools — A handy one-page setup of a variety of useful tools for writers and readers, ranging from a range of dictionaries (including a computer dictionary and a legal dictionary) to specialized thesauri. Also handy tools for crossword and scrabble afficiandos.

PresentationHelper — A wonderful web site that provides detailed information on all different aspects of making a presentation, from how to prepare effective powerpoints, essential speaking skills, topic suggestions, and several free powerpoint templates and sound and art clips.

News Resources Online

The following are a list of diverse online news resources that provide a range of perspectives and are large enough to provide their own reporting coverage or are of local interest:

The New York Times

BBC Online

The Guardian UK

The Washington Post


Christian Science Monitor

Aljezeera English

back to top

Citing Your Sources

Need to cite your sources? For information on citing your sources according to proper APA style, see the campus citation guide.

You can also use the citation builder, Noodletools. You will need to create a personal account to use Noodletools. You will also need to have all the information about each of your sources available in order to use it.

back to top

If you have questions about this or any other library web page, contact a librarian at 443-8739 or by means of the convenient web form.

Created June 26, 2006
Revised September 18, 2008

Danville Area Community College, 2000 E. Main St., Danville, IL 61832