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First-Year Composition

For all first-year composition classes: ENG 101, ENG 107, ENG 102, ENG 108, ENG 105.

Step Five


SUMMARY: Use guided keyword searching to find materials on your topic. Copy the article permalink/URL or write down the citation (author, title, etc.) and the location information (call number and library) if you find a physical book on your topic. When you pull the book from the shelf, look at the bibliography for additional sources.

The database you choose will depend on the topic you have chosen to research. Keep in mind that you will not stick with the same database for your entire research process. You will be using many different databases depending on the information you need to make a compelling argument. General databases are a good place to begin research, since they cover a broad range of topics. Disciplinary databases are good for finding more specific information and are generally used in the middle or end of your research as your topic narrows.

Starting Points

Academic Search Premier

Google Scholar

Gale Virtual Reference Library

Library One Search

One Search - Wide with Text

Library One Search

Find most ASU Libraries' books, articles from newspapers, journals, magazines and more – with just one search!

Google Scholar

If you are not finding appropriate articles from the databases above, try Google Scholar.  It is an index to scholarly literature, books and journals, from all subject fields.  The ASU Library's link to GS supplies links to the Libraries' online collections.

Article Databases

These are all useful databases for First Year research papers.

Academic Search Premier is a great starting place for any topic. It covers all subject areas, includes articles from both popular magazines and scholarly journals, and has loads of full text. Depending on the topic, many ENG102 students will get all they need from Academic Search Premier.

Academic Search Premier - Introduction: Interactive Tutorial and Quiz

The most helpful feature of Opposing Viewpoints is that it provides clearly identified pro and con sources for each topic. You can either browse the most popular topics from the first screen, or you can search by keyword.  This is a great place to start, but you need to look at other tools also.  All of the essays are available full text.

It also provides other useful information about each issue, such as relevant articles from encylopedias, magazines and scholarly journals. Use the tabs at the top of your search results to find these.

CQ Researcher is an excellent source for comprehensive background information on current issues in the news. It is the most reliable place to find balanced, unbiased overviews. These reports are meant to educate rather than influence researchers.  But don't let it be your only source!

This link takes you to the CQ Library; from there select CQ Researcher.

LexisNexis offers newspaper articles from around the country and the world.

Access World News offers newspaper coverage from around the US and around the world (and easier to use than LexisNexis). 

Get articles from our local newspaper the Arizona Republic from to 1999 to present.  Local information can often be harder to find than national, so ask a Librarian for help if you want it and are not finding it.


Alt-Press Watch is a full text database of selected independent newspapers, magazines, and journals of the alternative press. It provides an alternative to mainstream media perspectives on local, national, and international issues.

Ethnic NewsWatch brings full text coverage of ethnic and minority presses from around the United States.  Provides viewpoints and resources you may not find anywere else!

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