Use AT LEAST 3 sources.

Two of your sources must have originally been in print form: For example, a newspaper article, magazine article, excerpts from a book, etc., not something printed from a blog or wikipedia.

One source must be from an L-S database. Most sources on the L-S databases also meet the requirement of originally appearing in print.


Incorporate at least one image, graphic, or cartoon.

Your paper must be 2-3 pages (no more, no less).

Include footnotes or parenthetical citations (MLA format).

Provide a bibliography (MLA format); this is not part of the page count for your paper.

  • L-S Library Database Links
  • Tips for CQ Researcher and SIRS
  • General Search Tips
Tips for CQ Researcher

Use the search box and be sure that the article is fairly recent (probably published in the last 5 years). Some topics will not have a recent article in CQ Researcher: In that case, skip to SIRS.

Do not print the entire report.

Do not use the APA citation at the bottom of the page. Instead, click on the Cite Now! button on the top right side of the page. Choose MLA (from the Menu at the top of the box). Copy and paste the MLA citation into your bibliography.

            CQ Researcher citation box, showing an arrow and circle on the MLA choice

These are the most useful menu items for this assignment:

      CQ Researcher menu tips

Tips for SIRS

Select your topic from the Browse All Pro/Con Issues for best results.

Using the blue links at the top left, you can sort by date or relevance.

Check out the subjects in the See also section at the top of the results. If a subject seems to fit your topic well, then click it for more relevant results.

These are the most useful menu items for this assignment:

SIRS resource categories

Quotation Marks

Use quotations to find an exact phrase. For example:

“body image”
“global warming”
“gun control”
“Supreme Court”

Truncation (using an asterisk *)

Try using truncation to get better search results. Truncation means that a symbol–usually an asterisk *–is added to the end of a word root. This asterisk tells the database to search for all forms of that word. For example:

If you type censor* in the search box, you will get articles with all instances of the word censor, such as:

Note: using an asterisk to truncate does not work in the New York Times database.

Advanced Search and Sorting Results

Most databases provide links or a drop-down menu to sort by relevance or date.

Most databases have a link called Advanced or Advanced Search. Using Advanced Search, you can:

limit the date range
limit the document type
refine your keyword search