- Public & School Library
- Tweens & Teens
- Conducting Research
More than 100 databases are available on different topics. Visit All Databases to see the complete list.
- ABC-CLIO: Social Studies Databases: History and social studies databases.
- Academic Search Premier: Access full text articles from thousands of publications, 3,600 peer-reviewed journals. PDF backfiles to 1975 are available for over 100 journals, and searchable cited references are provided for more than 1,000 titles.
- Biography In Context: Nearly a million biographical entries spanning history and geography.
- CultureGrams Online: Offers concise, reliable, and up-to-date information on the history, customs, and lifestyles of the various cultures of the world.
- Environment Complete: Comprehensive Coverage for Environmental Studies including agriculture, ecosystem ecology, energy, and affiliated areas of study.
- Explora - High School and Middle School: Search databases by topic heading, make use of an online dictionary and encyclopedia, explore the top searches of the day, and even limit searches according to appropriate Lexile reading levels.
- GreenFILE: Information covering aspects of human impact to the environment. Scholarly, government and general-interest titles include content on global warming, green building, pollution, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, recycling, and more.
- History Reference Center: Comprehensive, full text, history reference database designed for secondary schools, public libraries, and undergraduate research. Features full text for 2,000 reference books, encyclopedias and non-fiction books from leading history publishers.
- Literary Databases: Contemporary Authors/Literary Criticism
- Literary Reference Center: Find information on thousands of authors and their works across literary disciplines and timeframes.
- Lynda.com: Lynda.com is an online learning resource offering thousands of video courses in popular fields like web design, web development, information technology, education/instruction, media production, and business to help you achieve your personal and professional goals. Experts create and deliver all courses as well as provide supplemental materials like exercise files and relevant work samples.
- Mango Languages: Access foreign language courses online.
- MAS Ultra: School Edition: Designed specifically for high school libraries, this database provides full text for more than 700 popular general interest and current events publications with information dating as far back as 1975 for key magazines.
- MasterFILE Premier: The MasterFILE Premier contains full text for more than 1,750 periodicals covering general reference, business, health, education, general science, multicultural issues and much more.
- NewsBank: Local, regional, and national U.S. newspapers-all in one easy-to-search database.
- New York Times: Complete access to the online digital version of the New York Times. One time registration on site at one of our libraries is required.
- Points of View Reference Center: Designed to provide students with a series of essays that present multiple sides of a current issue. The database provides 200 topics, each with an overview (objective background/description), point (argument) and counterpoint (opposing argument).
- Psychology and Behavioral Sciences: Database covering information concerning topics in emotional and behavioral characteristics, psychiatry and psychology, mental processes, anthropology, and observational and experimental methods.
- Science Reference Center: Access science encyclopedias, reference books, periodicals, and other sources. Topics covered include: biology, chemistry, earth and space science, environmental science, health and medicine, history of science, life science, physics, and more.
- TOPICsearch: Explore social, political and economic issues, scientific discoveries and other popular topics. Contains full text for over 92,700 articles from more than 2,500 diverse sources, including more than 1,550 full text periodicals.
- World Book (Home): World Book Online Reference Center is a powerful reference tool for advanced researchers and information seekers. The site features thousands of e-books, tens of thousands of articles, and hundreds of thousands of primary source documents.
Who is the intended audience for the website? Children, teenagers, adults? General audience, professionals, students, researchers? Members of a certain group or proponents of a certain viewpoint? Try to determine what audience the maker of the website is trying to reach.
Why has this website been created? Is it to sell, to advertise, to inform, to persuade? The purpose of a website may not be stated clearly and directly.
- Who created the page and sponsored the website?
- Is there a link to a homepage? If so, is it for an individual or an organization?
- What credentials or experience does the author have? (occupation, education, experience) Credentials can be verified using college directories, search engines, Who’s Who, and other biographical sources.
- Does the author have other publications on this subject?
- Is there contact information? (email address, physical address or institution)
- Is there a sponsor for the website? What is the sponsor’s reputation?
- Check the address for clues as to the type of organization:
- .aero = airlines
- .biz = business
- .com = commercial company, usually for-profit
- .coop = cooperatives
- .edu = educational, usually colleges and universities
- .gov = government agency
- .info = information
- .mil = military
- .museum = museum
- .name = individuals
- .net = network, sometimes an internet service provider
- .org = organizations, usually non-profit
- .pro = professionals
- Is any bias evident? Does the author present the information objectively, from various points of view, or from one particular point of view?
- Does the author or sponsor have any known affiliation which would indicate a specific agenda or bias?
- To what extent does the information attempt to persuade or sway the audience?
- Does the information include vague statements, generalizations, stereotypes or emotional appeal?
Websites are rarely reviewed, refereed, or verified by an editor or fact checker, as are books and articles in scholarly journals. Remember, anyone can publish anything on the World Wide Web.
- Is the original source of information stated?
- When was the information originally created?
- When was the information last revised or edited? How much of the information was revised?
- Are the hyperlinks from the Web page still reliable?
- Is the document free of spelling, grammatical, and typographical errors?
- If possible, you may want to check some facts or quotes against the cited sources.
Dates are not always included on Web pages. Does the source indicate the date of the original? If present, Web page dates may indicate:
- The date the information was created
- The date the information was published to the web
- The date the information was last revised
- Does the website present an overview or a detailed discussion?
- Is the information comprehensive?
- What topics are included?
- What time periods are covered by the information?
- Are the hyperlinks from the site relevant and appropriate? Are they annotated? (Evaluate each linked site independently; the quality of pages may vary, even when linked from the same site.)
- What other kinds of sources are cited?
Handout adapted from Regis University Library.
Visit the ProCon.org website.
200 Prompts for Argumentative Writing
Visit the New York Times page on 200 Prompts for Argumentative Writing.