Bristol Community College

Bristol Community College

ENG101 - Composition I: College Writing

ENG 101 - Composition I: College Writing
Professor Farah Habib
Email Address,
Campus Extension : 2147


This course guide is designed to assist you with the Argumentative Research Essay assignment in Farah Habib’s ENG 101 classes.  If you need assistance using any of the sources or need help finding additional information please contact a reference librarian either by stopping by the LRC, calling 508.678.2811, ext. 2108, or using our Online Reference form.

Choose among the links below, and search for your topic in a database. We have listed several here to get you started. Each database provides articles from magazines, newspapers and journals, and one also has essays from books. 

To search efficiently, you need to select key concepts from your research question.  Then, instead of using a normal sentence to express your topic, connect these key words using "and".  Using “and,” “or,” or “not” to connect your key words is a method called Boolean searching. To see a video clip on this, click here.

Examples of Boolean searches follow below in the database listing.

As you read through your list of search results, be sure to keep in mind the criteria your teacher provided. Be patient, as some articles will be useful, while others will contain your search words but in different and unrelated contexts.

   Research Project

Decide on a controversial issue related to the career field or major in which you are interested, take a position on the issue and write a three to five page essay that uses research and evidence to argue your side. An example of a controversial issue in a career field is the debate over merit pay for teachers. Similarly, in nursing, solutions are being sought to address the shortage of nurses, and in journalism, the newspaper industry is arguing over ways to beat the competition from online publications. Since this is a research essay, you will need to include credible sources.
Two of those sources must be from the College’s online databases.

To read the full description of the project, click here.

To see the form for evaluating Web sources, click here.

To see a guide to Citing Online Information, click here.

For more information on citing sources correctly, Prof. Habib recommends these sites: 

   Periodical Databases

Databases are accessible from off campus to patrons who have a valid accessBCC card unless otherwise specified. 

MasterFILE Premier

Example: Education field
Controversial issue: merit pay for teachers
Should question: Should teachers’ salaries be based on merit?

• In the entry box, type the key  words: merit pay and teachers.
• Click on the “search” button.
• When the results come up, not all will have complete articles attached. On the right of the screen you will see a “Limit your results” option. To get only complete articles, click in the box for “full text” and then the “update results” button.
o If you want to limit your results to a particular format, for example periodicals or newspapers, check the left side of the screen which lists source types, and click on the format you want.

Opposing Viewpoints

Example: Health care industry
Controversial issue: obesity epidemic in the U.S
Should question: should the government be held responsible for obesity in the U.S.?

• In the entry box type: obesity and epidemic.
• Then click just below, to designate “keyword,” and click on the “search” button.
• Opposing Viewpoints provides full text information from various types of sources, represented by the colored tabs at the top of the result list. The first set of results you see is from the “Viewpoints” collection, essays that were previously published in books.
• If you want to see magazine articles, simply click on the “Magazines” tab.

Academic OneFile

Example: Banking field.
Controversial issue: the taxpayer bailout of banks with troubled assets.
Should question: should taxpayers have to bailout banks to save the economy?

• In the entry box type: taxpayers and bailout and banks.
• When your result list comes up, you will see the limiting options directly below the tabs at the top. To get only complete articles, click in the box to limit to “full text.”
• The tabs represent the various types of sources available. To get the magazine articles, simply click on the appropriate tab.

LexisNexis News

Example: green energy field.
Controversial issue: the proposed wind turbine project in Nantucket Sound.
Should question: Should the wind turbine project be approved?

• In the entry box type: wind and nantucket sound.
• Just below you can limit your search by using the dropdown menu, or leave it as is.
• This database provides full text newspaper articles and more from sources all over the world. The “sources” box default is “US newspapers and wires” which you can leave, or you can choose any option that may fit your topic and Prof. Habib’s criteria.
• You can use the “specify date” box to limit the dates of the documents in your search.
• Then click on the “search” button.

Proquest Newspapers

Example: law enforcement field.
Controversial issue: racial profiling of drivers by police.
Should question: should racial profiling be used in law enforcement?

• In the entry box type: racial profiling and police and drivers.
• This database provides full text articles from a variety of newspapers, many in Massachusetts. You can use the “date range” option to limit your results, or search all dates. The result list will also provide links to related topics.