Library homepageLibrary Homepage

ENGL 1111

ENGL 1111: College English 2 - Culture and Community

This page was created to help MCTC students in ENGL 1111 locate resources for research on topics related to culture and community.

Carolyn Holbrook

Table of Contents:

Where can I find resources with overviews of culture and community?

NOTE: From off campus, you will need to log in to the individual e-books or collections below with your student ID (Tech ID) with 'MCT' added as a prefix [Ex: MCT00012345] with your last name as your password.

A full-text digital resource exploring the histories and contemporary cultures of the indigenous peoples of the United States. Includes more than 150 volumes of scholarship and reference content, hundreds of primary documents, and thousands of images.

An electronic reference book collection of subject encyclopedias, handbooks and guides, covering many subject disciplines. The full text (including graphics) of each encyclopedia article is available online.

Video tutorials:
Basic Searching

Advanced Searching

Using GVRL Citation Tools

Most articles also have a list of related resources that may be helpful to you.

You can search the entire collection of online encyclopedias, or click on a subject (e.g., Social Science or Medicine) to see individual searchable encyclopedias such as the ones listed below. Look at the title of the encyclopedia to get an idea of the context they will be using when discussing the topic. Note, the listed encyclopedias are some examples of the varied topics on culture and community available in this database.

Encyclopedia of Multicultural Psychology (Gale Virtual Reference Library)

"This encyclopedia presents a thorough overview of the psychology of racial, ethnic, and minority issues in the United States. It covers the breadth of psychology viewed through the lens of the racial and ethnic minority experience. An excellent resource for those interested in improving their awareness and comprehension of cultural practices prevalent among and between all people.

Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity, and Society (Gale Virtual Reference Library)

This encyclopedia"examines the role race and ethnicity play in society. Covers intergroup relations in the United States and the comparative examination of race and ethnicity worldwide. Over a hundred racial and ethnic groups are described, with additional thematic essays offering insight into broad topics that cut across group boundaries and impact society."

Encyclopedia of Sex and Gender (Gale Virtual Reference LIbrary)

"Addresses issues of sex and gender at the personal and the social level; examines issues of identity, status, class, ethnicity, race, and nation; of sexuality and the body; of social institutions and the structures of representation. Topics include changing conceptions of "the feminine," the family and masculinity, religion, morality, cultural images, medical practice, public health, economy and society and many more." [Publisher's information]

International Encyclopedia of Marriage and Family (Gale Virtual Reference Library)

"Adopts an international, cross-cultural approach to such diverse topics as adolescent parenthood, family planning, cohabitation, widowhood, domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, codependency, and commuter marriages. Includes articles specific to countries and religious traditions, examining the history of family life within these cultures and discussing how families have been affected by political and social change." [Publisher information]

International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, 2nd Ed. (Gale Virtual Reference Library)

This 9-volume 2nd edition "covers scholarship and fields that have emerged and matured since the publication of the original international edition. Highlights the expanding influence of economics in social science research and features new articles and biographies contributed by scholars from around the world on a wide array of global topics in the social sciences." [Publisher information]

The perfect place to begin research on current topics. Includes complete summaries, insight into all sides of the issues, bibliographies and more. The basic CQ search screen includes a search of CQ Global Researcher.

Browsing CQ Researcher: a basic overview of the CQ Researcher and advice on how to search for topics, from the MCTC librarians.

Searching CQ Researcher Tutorial

Recent culture/community related topics include Gay Marriage, Hate Groups, Student Rights and Political Conventions.

A full-text online reference service that includes content from more than 390 titles from 60+ reference publishers. The collection includes a wide range of subject-specific titles covering everything from art to accountancy, science to Shakespeare, and law to literature.

Issues & Controversies @ contains the full backfile of Issues & Controversies On File, which has covered about 600 controversial topics in the news since its debut in September 1995. Chronologies, illustrations, maps, tables, sidebars, bibliographies and contact information augment the balanced coverage of current and historical events.

Browsing Issues and Controversies Tutorial

Searching Issues and Controversies Tutorial

Recent culture/community related topics include Sex Crimes, Substance Abuse, and Courts and the Legal System.

A database of countries of the world that offers information on society and culture, travel, communications, business, trade and marketing. Under Society and Culture, Life Cycle provides lifespan information, from birth to death.

Dictionaries, language references, and subject reference works published by Oxford University Press, including information across a broad subject range including titles in the Oxford Companions Series. The MCTC subscription also includes the additional Literature Collection, the Western Civilization collection, and selected Oxford Digital Reference titles.

Where can I find books on my topic?

To find books about your research topic, use the MCTC college library catalog. While most books listed in the catalog are print books, physically located in the MCTC Library, the catalog does provide access to several collections of e-books that can be accessed online.

If you are off campus, you will need to log in when you click on an e-book, with your student ID (Tech ID) with 'MCT' added as a prefix [Ex: MCT00012345], and your password (your last name).

The MCTC Library print collection has many good reference resources for culture and community topics, from a variety of perspectives.

Use the online catalog to search for books (and other resources such as DVDs, videos, & CDs).
Enter keywords that are specific to your topic. Also locate/identify general and narrow subject headings that relate to your topic.

How to use a Library of Congress Subject Headings

Library of Congress Subject Headings can help you organize and manage your search. If there's too much information on a topic, subject headings can break it down into manageable chunks;if there is too little information, subject headings can provide links to other useful information. As you bring up your individual books in the library catalog, look for and link off these terms under "subjects" in each book record to locate possibly more relevant books on your topic. By using the Library of Congress Subject Headings, you are able to locate the authorized subject headings - the agreed upon terms for any given topic (also called "controlled vocabulary" terms). For example, the term "automobile" is a subject heading instead of the keyword terms "care." "vehicle," or "motor vehicle."


One of the ways that you can locate additional, possibly more focused books on your topic is to, first of all,search for your book in the MnPals library catalog using a keyword search (ALL FIELDS). Select a book from the list and then locate and link off of one of the SUBJECT(s) assigned to the book. You should be able to bring up additional book titles that are possibly more relevant.

Subjects, LC in Classic MnPals

Before you even begin your search, you can locate subject headings appropriate to your topic. The link "Subjects, LC' will take you to Classic MnPals. Use the pull-down menu and select Subjects, LC from the list. Enter your topic (one or two keywords) and see if you can locate the subject headings for your topic. You will notice that to the left of each subject heading in the list, the number of books that have been assigned this subject. At this point, you can link directly to the books if you wish.

Where can I find magazine, journal and newspaper articles?

NOTE: From off campus, you will need to log in to the databases with your student ID (Tech ID) with 'MCT' added as a prefix [Ex: MCT00012345] with your last name as your password.

With coverage spanning virtually every area of academic study, this database provides full text for more than 4,600 scholarly publications, including more than 3,500 peer-reviewed journals.

Video tutorials:
Subject Term Searching

Keyword Searching

Providing full text for more than 2,700 general interest magazines, covering virtually every subject area, this database also includes an image collection (including photos), primary source documents, biographies, and some books.

Searching Tutorial

A custom selection of more than 300 full-text journals for educators, the collection includes the following areas: arts and humanities; child and adolescent psychology and development; drug and alcohol abuse; health/nutrition/fitness; learning disabilities; literature; school law; science and technology; social sciences; and sports/athletic training

Full-text of over 750 newspapers from the United States and around the world. Coverage begins in the 1980's and 1990's.

Both the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the St. Paul Pioneer Press may be searched individually. (The Pioneer Press only goes back to April 21, 2010, while the Star Tribune goes back to 1986.)

Video tutorials:


Where can I find help in citing my sources?

You will need to document your sources using MLA citation style guidelines.

This guide demonstrates how to prepare citations for the types of sources most often included in a list of works cited, including both print and electronic resources.

Online! A Reference Guide to Using Internet Sources

[Resource no longer available]

How can I get more help finding resources for my topic?

Library Help

You can also get help from the librarian staffing the reference desk in the library, M-TH 9:00 - 3:00 (summer session hours).

From off campus, use the eReference link to ask a question (answers supplied within 24 hours on weekdays.)

REMEMBER: From off campus, you will need to log in to the individual databases with your student ID (Tech ID) with 'MCT' added as a prefix [Ex: MCT00012345] with your last name as your password.

Page Coordinator: Jane Jurgens