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English 9 Choice Unit: Research

For Ms. Chaimainis' and Ms. Schomp's classes


Here are some resources and ideas to get you started. Mrs. Hanson is ready to help you find sources, both in the databases and outside of them, and also help you cite them.  She can also help you focus your searches.


You'll be using Noodletools to hold your citations (a minimum of 3).  Please create your project, share it with your group members, and share it with the appropriate teacher box:

  • Chaimanis Choice Project
  • Schomp Choice Project A Block
  • Schomp Choice Project G Block
  • Schomp Choice Project D Block

You are using MLA Advanced format.

Search tips

Put quotation marks around words to search for the exact phrase.  
Example:  "the exact phrase" will give you those three words next to each other instead of all pages containing those three words anywhere in the document.

If you're not finding what you want, work on your keywords.

Evaluate your sources to make sure they are authoritative. Remember the CRAP test!

Suggested databases

Other searches to try

Use a variety of sources


Primary sources
  • Typically the most difficult sources to decode and understand. They often use specialized vocabulary.
  • Don't forget that images can be excellent sources of information. Use your prior knowledge to decode images and get information from them.
  • Laws
  • Photographs/Art
  • Videos of events
  • Official documents from institutions involved in your topic
  • Social media --example: find the appropriate Twitter hashtag to understand how an event unfolds
  • Social media-- example: find appropriate Facebook pages and groups; read comments
News sources
  • Understand how a story unfold and is resolved by researching news sources
  • Discover how your topic applies to different parts of the world using news sources
  • Newspapers from databases. You can easily search by city, date and keyword. Let Mrs Hanson show you how.
  • Online newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Local news
  • National news
  • International news
  • A great way to discover a range of opinions on your topic
  • Editorials in newspapers
  • Blogs with strong viewpoints
  • Comments on website/blog articles
  • News entertainment shows--ex. MSNBC, CNN, FOX
  • Use this to understand the basics of your topics.
  • Find reference articles in online encyclopedias and reference books (Britannica, Grolier, Gale Virtual Reference Library, Questia)


Scholarly sources
  • Scholarly sources are written by experts usually for undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral researchers. This means that the language is often specialized and the topics are extremely narrow. You might find the perfect article to add a scholarly perspective to your project.
  • Questia is a great place to start. Mrs. Hanson can recommend other databases, too.