Granada Hills Charter High School, Resource Guide
English, Grades 11 and 12 - Kevin Smith
The following resources are designed to support Granada Hills Charter High School students with English assignments.
Getting your Research Started | Developing a Thesis Statement | Search Strategy | Periodical Indexes/Databases | Recommended Databases | Finding Articles | Citation and Evaluation Guides | Reference Services | Library Session Outline (.doc)
Getting your Research Started
It's good to know something about your topic before you begin your research. Often general or specialized encyclopedias, other types of reference books or credible web sites can be used to gather basic information.
- Search the Oviatt Library Catalog for books
- Title or author search if you know exactly what you need.
- Keyword vs. Subject search. These two things sound the same but work differently when you are searching, so be sure to try both.
- Write down the location and call number so you will know where to find the book.
- Finding Books in the library - reading a call number
- Online Encyclopedias
- Internet Search Engines such as Google, Yahoo and Ask Jeeves can also be appropriate tools for starting your research when you aren't familiar with a topic. However, it is important to verify this information with a credible source in the library. Information obtained from such search engines may not be reliable. Anyone can make a web site or add information to something like Wikipedia.
Developing a Thesis Statement
Developing a Thesis (Guide from The Writing Place at Northwestern University)
Once you are familiar with your topic, take the time to plan your research strategy.
- Determine the kinds of information you need and think about ways to describe your topic.
- Does your instructor require you to use certain types of sources?
- Make a list of synonyms you can mix and match in your searches.
- Find the information you need:
- Reference Books - there are encyclopedias for almost any subject
- Articles - newspapers, magazines, and journals in print or online
- Statistics - government sources are good for statistics
- Web sites - verify information
- Evaluate the information you found.
- Did you find enough evidence to support your thesis statement?
- Did you find conflicting information in any of your sources?
- Are your sources all credible? Who wrote them? Experts?
- Use the information to write your paper.
- 5Ws - Who, What, Where, When, Why (and How)
- Cite your sources.
- Citing sources tells your teachers where you found your information. This includes using direct quotes and paraphrasing someone else's ideas and words. Using the work of others to support your argument is good, but you must give credit to the original author.
For more information about the research process see How to do Library and Internet Research.
Newspapers, magazines, trade publications and scholarly journals, also known as periodicals, can be excellent sources for research papers. Any of the General/Multi-Subject Databases may provide you with information for your assignments.
Academic Search Elite (EBSCO) - Check the Full Text box to retrieve articles online; check the Scholarly/Peer-Reviewed Journals box if you are looking for scholarly articles.
GeneralOne File (Gale) - Check the Documents to Full Text box to retrieve articles online; check the Peer-Reviewed box if you are looking for scholarly articles.
JSTOR - online scholarly articles
Finding Articles Online if you are not at the Oviatt Library
You can access the Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) databases from home by logging on with your LAPL card. To access the General OneFile database look for the letter “G.” The General OneFile database will meet the needs of many assignments.
Citation and Evaluation Guides
Reference Services and Library Hours
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Library and Reference Desk hours