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ENGL1A, Starer: Getting Started

Tutorial: How to Use This Guide

The Assignment

Understand Your Assignment

Before you begin your research, you should make sure you understand your assignment. Some good questions are:

How many pages should it be?
How many sources do I need?
What kinds of sources? Books,
   articles, websites? Scholarly or
   popular articles?

In what format should it be
   written? APA?
Chicago/Turabian? MLA?

Assignment Calculator

San Jose State's Assignment Calculator is a good resource to help you determine how much time you have to complete various aspects of your research and writing, given your starting date and due date.

Recommended Starting Points for Researching Voting Issues

The Encyclopædia Britannica: One of the oldest and most well-known reference sources, with both short and book-length overview articles in almost all disciplines. Also includes historical timelines, multimedia, selected magazine articles, notable quotations, and a dictionary and thesaurus. See entries for: United States Political Process, the Electoral College, Redistricting, Gerrymandering, Voter Suppression, Voter ID Law

The Encyclopedia of American Political Parties and Elections: Provides comprehensive coverage of the American election process and its political parties.

Opinions Throughout History: Voters' Rights: In-depth exploration of not only the topic of voter suppression, but how public opinion influenced action on voters' rights, from the founding of the country, when most states limited the right to vote to property-owning males, to the establishment in 2017 of the Presidential Advisory Commission of Election Integrity, and beyond, to how voter suppression efforts affected the 2018 elections.

CQ Researcher: Original, comprehensive reporting and analysis on issues in the news. Every 12,000-word report is written by an experienced journalist and features comments from experts, lawmakers and citizens on all sides of every issue. Numerous charts, graphs and sidebar articles -- plus a pro-con feature, a chronology, lengthy bibliographies and a list of contacts -- round out each report. See reports for: Voting Rights, Redistricting Showdown, the Electoral College, Election Security and Voting Rights.

Opposing Viewpoints in Context: One-stop shopping for information on a variety of controversial social issues. Contains articles from pro-con essays, journals, magazines, and news sources, as well as statistics, biographies, court cases, profiles of special interest groups and more. See the following topics: Electoral College, Gerrymandering & Redistricting, Political Participation in the United States, Presidential Election Process, Voter Registration, Voting Laws.

For more sources of background information, visit the A-Z Databases Encyclopedias listing.

Off-Campus Access

For off-campus access to the online databases and eBooks, you'll need your student ID. See our Off-Campus Library Services LibGuide for more information.

You can also renew your books online from home.