Library homepageLibrary Homepage

PHIL 2181

PHIL 2181: Social Ethics

This page was created to help MCTC students in Social Ethics locate resources for research assignments.

Last updated 9/15/2010.

Ruthanne Crapo

Table of Contents:

Where can I find overviews of topics in philosophy?

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.

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

Using Gale Virtual Reference Library

You can search the entire collection of online encyclopedias, or click on a subject (e.g., Religion) 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 perspectives on ethics and ethical perspectives available in this database.

Encyclopedia of Philosophy

This is a good starting point for all papers. You can also access it by going to the religion heading on the Gale Virtual Reference basic search page.

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.

Use this source to access viewpoint articles, topic overviews, statistics, primary documents, links to websites, and full-text magazine and newspaper articles. Draws on the social issues series published by Greenhaven Press and core reference content from other Gale and Macmillan reference sources to provide a complete one-stop source for information on social issues.

Searching Opposing Viewpoints in Context Tutorial

[Return to Top]

Where can I find books on my topic?

To find books about your research topic, use the MCTC college library catalog. The MCTC Library has access to several collections of e-books that can be accessed online. E-books from collections in NetLibrary, Gale Virtual Reference, and Greenwood Ebooks are available through the MCTC library catalog.

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).

There are several good histories of philosophy available through the MCTC library, such as:
Bertrand Russell’s History of Western Philosophy, 1946 (available on the 2nd floor, call # B72 .R8 1964, or through NetLibrary), Anthony Kenny’s A Brief History of Western Philosophy, 1998, (call # 190 K399b, 1998); and the Columbia History of Western Philosophy, 1999, (call # 190 C723p, 1999).

Frederick Copleston’s multi-volume History of Philosophy provides a somewhat more in-depth covering of the same ground. The volumes are located on the 2nd floor of the library, call # 109 C791h.

Many more histories dealing with specific cultures or time periods (e.g. Chinese philosophy, African philosophy, twentieth century philosophy, etc.) can also be found simply by typing “history of philosophy” into the MCTC library catalog, or search using words more closely related to your topic.

Suggested titles in the MCTC Library Reference Section

The following philosophy reference books are located on the first floor of the library, on the right side past the reference area computers. Reference books may not be checked out, but can be used anywhere in the library, including in the library computer lab:

Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, REF B51 .R68 1998;
Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, REF B41 .C35 1999;
Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy, REF B41 .B53 1996;
Encyclopedia of Asian Philosophy, REF B121 .E53 2001;
Historical Dictionary of Feminism, REF HQ1115 .B65 2004;
Encyclopedia of Social Theory, REF HM425 .E47 2005;
Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment, REF B802 .E53 2003, also available through Oxford Digital Reference Shelf ;
Encyclopedia of Bioethics, REF QH332 .E52 2004;
Ethics, REF BJ63 .E54 2005;
Encyclopedia of Ethics, REF BJ63 .E45 2001;
Encyclopedia of Applied Ethics, REF BJ63 .E44 1998.

Collection of over 12,500 full text, fully searchable electronic books from all subject areas including over 3,400 older "public domain" works. The recent ebooks are also available through the library catalog.

An e-book collection of over 43,000 e-books in a broad range of subjects, by publishers including: Brill, Cambridge, Elsevier, John Wiley & Sons, Johns Hopkins University Press, MIT, Taylor & Francis, Palgrave-MacMillan, and more.

Currently (Spring 2011) these books can only be accessed via Ebrary. They are not included in the MCTC library catalog at this time.

Catalog of books, web resources, and other materials held in libraries worldwide. This free, web-based version of the resource will allow you to enter a zip code, and will locate libraries nearest to you that have the book you are looking for.

If you enter the MCTC area zip code [55403], you will see the MCTC library at the top of the list, if we own the book.

If MCTC does not own the book and it is not at a public library near you, you may need to request it through InterLibrary Loan.

[Return to Top]

Where can I find magazine & journal 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

Using this database:

This is an excellent source for many religious topics. You will immediately see a search screen. Before you search, click on the “full text” button. You may also want to click on the “scholarly journals” button to limit your results to academic articles. This database will pull up hundreds of articles on your topic, many in PDF format for excellent printing.

Includes over 4,200 indexed titles, over 2,500 of which are full-text and many are peer-reviewed, - in all disciplines including social sciences, humanities, education, science and technology.

Similar to Academic Search Premier, your results may be limited to full text, and/or to peer-reviewed (academic) articles.

[Return to Top]

Where can I find good quality Internet resources?

A Note on Wikipedia: you should not cite or quote from Wikipedia directly as a scholarly source. The main criticism of Wikipedia from an academic viewpoint is that it is maintained by volunteers with no qualifying credentials, and there are no editors or peer reviewers, as is the norm with traditional scholarly resources. The best use of Wikipedia is as a “middle man” to find the scholarly works they have used – typically located at the bottom of the entry in the footnotes, notes and external section. Try to go to the scholarly sources and use them (you will need to evaluate the listed sources to determine which are scholarly.) Like all encyclopedias, Wikipedia shares the biases of these scholarly works.

Online Academic Directories

More effective than a general Google search for finding scholarly websites, books and articles. Please be aware that you may not find the full text of the content with these. The MCTC Library may already subscribe to an online publication, or you may be able to request a book or article through InterLibrary Loan (there will be a short waiting period.) In most cases, you should NOT have to spend money to access a online resource - please speak to a librarian if you need help.


A free online service that helps you to find web resources for your studies and research. This service is currently funded through July 2011.

Online Philosophy Encyclopedias and Websites

The following are excellent websites that you can use for your research:

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP)

The most in-depth online encyclopedia of philosophy. Each article has a bibliography at the bottom which can serve as a further resource for finding books and articles on your topic.


A good source for finding many primary texts, journal articles and encyclopedia entries.

Philosophy Pages

A good dictionary, historical timeline of western philosophy, biographies of major western philosophers and logical terms.

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (IEP)

A good encyclopedia of philosophy by U of Tennessee.

The Radical Academy

A good source for essays on philosophers, philosophical terms, a list of centers and mini-courses.

Internet Sacred Text Archive

A good source for primary texts in philosophy, religion and theology. They also have some feminist philosophers under “women.”

Islamic Philosophy Online

A good starting point for Islamic philosophers.

Marxists Internet Archive

A good source for primary writings of classical and contemporary philosophers.

Ethics Updates

A good source for getting a brief overview of topics in ethics.

A good source for all bioethics issues.

[Return to Top]

Where can I find help with writing papers in philosophy?

[Return to Top]

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.

EasyBib can help you cite your sources (websites, articles, books, and more) in both APA and MLA formats. Create an account and use EasyBib to generate a works cited list or bibliography, organize a topical outline, and take research notes.

Video tutorial: EasyBib Bibliography Creation

[Return to Top]

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

Library Help

Reference Services
For assistance with electronic and print resources, creating citations, and locating resources for your research assignments, please contact reference services. Reference services are available in person at the library's reference desk, and through our ‘Ask a Librarian’ page.

Circulation Services
For help with interlibrary loans, off campus access, or your library account, please stop by the circulation desk or contact us phone (612-659-6290) or email.


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: Kathleen Daniels