You may need to refine your topic from a very broad concern to a narrow one, or possibly reverse. If you're looking at a broad topic, such as gun rights, consider:
As a result, you might narrow your topic with results such as:
Now that you have keywords, it's time to search the databases. Have you used the databases before? If you don't have recent experience with our library's databases, then I suggest watching this introductory video.
When doing research about government policies, at least in the context of the United States, you're participating in a broad conversation across our republic. It's helpful to see what other thoughtful people have said about the government policy you are advocating or opposing. For that task, I recommend exploring Opposing Viewpoints. Its resources include statistics, news stories, scholarly journal articles, and viewpoint arguments on a wide variety of current issues.
Opposing Viewpoints provide sound introductions to controversial issues, but you should dig deeper. These next three databases will help you do so.
Academic Search Complete, the Military & Government Collection, and the Legal Collection are databases with with newspaper, magazine, and scholarly journal articles. They are structured the same way, so this video tutorial will show you how to search all three.
We have two excellent ebook databases. These let you read full-text books online. The interfaces can be confusing, so I have included a tutorial video for each one.
You must cite your sources according to the MLA style of documentation.
This is our video that introduces MLA documentation. I urge you to watch the entire video carefully before starting to write your paper or annotated bibliography. It is much easier to cite correctly as you go along, rather than try to fix your documentation after you have written your paper.
This is our sample paper. When you're writing a paper, you can model the formatting of your paper after this one. If you are unsure how to set up the formatting in Microsoft Word so that it fits the requirements for MLA formatting, you could instead download this blank Word document that has the formatting already set up for you.
This is our 2-page handout that summarizes the MLA style. It includes most of the types of sources that students commonly use.