Skip to Main Content Skip navigation

ENGL 102 - Researching Current Issues

Great databases to use for any topic & especially English 101/102. Find a topic, understand all sides of the issue, get background info & find academic books + journal articles. Start with CQ Researcher!

Primo: Start Your Search & Sign In Here!


Contact a Librarian

Profile Photo
Denise Crews

Librarians are Here for You!

Librarians can help you with research! They can save you a lot of time and frustration!


How do you contact a librarian? You can instantly chat, submit a question, or make an appointment.  Click here for all the options.


If you are on campus, you can come in and speak to a librarian in person during the day.  Just ask at the front desk!

Finding Articles that Raise Issues

To find researchable issues, try articles in publications like:

National Review,

Wall Street Journal,

The Atlantic,

The New York Times,  

Reason, and 

Psychology Today 

Be aware that each publication has a certain worldview or political slant.  Try Googling your topic plus the name of a publication to see articles from a certain perspective. See this guide to finding newspaper and magazine articles in the online library collection.

For education issues, try:

Liberal Arts Education Recommended Reading List

James G. Martin Center for Educational Renewal, 

Fordham Institute

Chalkboard Review,

The Grade, and the

Chronicle of Higher Education

For Christian perspectives and issues, try these:

First Things,

Christianity Today,


The Gospel Coalition, and 

Christ & Pop Culture.

For ethical and family-related issues, try:

Discovery Institute

Heritage Foundation

Family Research Council

Ethics & Public Policy Center

US Council of Catholic Bishops

Focus on the Family

Or these influential think tanks:

Manhattan Institute (Conservative) and City Journal

AEI --see "Centers" (Conservative/libertarian)

Cato (Libertarian)

Pew Society (Non-partisan)

Brookings (Non-partisan/liberal)

Hoover Institution (Conservative/libertarian)

Look at ideas & research from influential Think Tanks, advocacy groups, churches/denominations, universities, museums, and other non-profits. Here is our library page on think tanks & policy organizations.  Note that each one of these will have a certain ideology and certain goals. Look for sixteen indicators of bias just to be aware of how it influences what you are reading.

Once you have an issue to research, try these recommended research steps:

1.  Start with the library's Primo search, which looks for books, e-books, articles, videos, & reference entries (encyclopedias & dictionaries). 

2. Then try the library's hundreds of individual subject databases (see the next box on this page or select ones specific to your subject here)

3. Use Google Scholar to search our databases & the web (link it to our library in the Google Scholar drop-down menu; Settings; Library Links)

4. Find credible internet sources (.gov, .edu, open access journals, free archives, classic books online, magazines & newspapers, Christian sites, think tanks). See the rest of this guide for recommended online sources. 

5. Use Google Books or Amazon to see all the books that are out there on your topic; both have book previews of the book's introduction, table of contents, and/or index that you can also use to pinpoint the page numbers you need (you can request digitization of a section in Primo).

6. Use the easy new Interlibrary Loan "Get it for me" links in Primo to request that we get you any books or articles that we don't have (you don't need to buy sources!). Use to search libraries near you for books we don't have (or if you're a distance student).

7. Google more if you're stuck or need more background knowledge. Read up on the basic issues, key terms, important events, influential literature, and major debates. Keep in mind that what comes up in Google must be sifted through for bias, originality, and quality.  

Articles on Different Sides of an Issue

Databases For Credible Articles

Can I use Google? Yes!

Google, Google Scholar, and Google Books are all great tools. You can find background information or basic terminology on your topic through regular Google, as well as religious websites, free archives & e-books, newspaper & magazine articles, think tanks, open-access academic sources, and government sources. Remember to use discernment and that a lot of websites are biased, promotional, or non-credible.

Google Scholar can be used to search for academic sources. Google Books can be used to get book previews. We recommend that you link Google Scholar to our library to see articles owned in our collection instantly. 

Directions for how to link Google Scholar to Regent Library:  

  • Go to Google Scholar
  • Open the three-bar or "hamburger" menu in the upper left 
  • Click "Settings" in the drop-down menu
  • Click the "Library Links" section
  • Search for 'regent university'
  • Select the 'Regent University -' option
  • Click "Save" and you will be returned to the Google Scholar homepage
  • Search for your key words (or titles or authors). Try different combinations.  
  • When you find an article that's available in our collection, it will have '' in the right column
  • Click on that link and select an access option - you will be directed to the Regent login page
  • For books that come up, you will need to come to Primo and search for them to see if we have them

Tips for Using Google Scholar (Operators)

  • try enclosing words in quotation marks to get exact phrases like "first amendment"
  • try synonyms and variations; use the word OR between them, like college OR university 
  • use the minus symbol to exclude unrelated words, like Abraham -Lincoln (if you want Abraham from the Bible)
  • use the word AROUND to indicate words should be near each other in the results, like Covid AROUND lockdown
  • Use an asterisk star * to take the place of missing or unknown words in a phrase
  • Search site: then your key words (no spaces) if looking for a website title.
  • Search intext: then your key words if looking for it in the text of the website, not the title.
  • You do not need to use AND or parentheses with Google
  • Also, note that even if you don't use OR, it will treat the various terms as options--you can enter a lot of terms
  • You don't need to use an asterisk at the end of a word to bring up different word endings as Google does that already

Required Video: How to Do Research

Finding Newspaper & Magazine Articles

Learn More With Brief Videos

The librarians have made many short videos, which are posted on our YouTube channel, that explain the best ways to use our tools.  

Scripture: Pursuing Wisdom

Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.

Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you. (Proverbs 4)