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English Composition

This guide will help you with finding resources for argumentative writing and other English Composition assignments.

Selecting a Database

If you don't find what you need using Monarch OneSearch, or find way too many resources to sift through, selecting a Subject Database is a great way to focus your results.

The easiest way to select a database is to consult a Library Guide related to your topic. You can view all of the databases provided by the ODU Libraries on our Databases A-Z list.

The list below provides just a few examples of commonly used databases for argumentative paper topics and topics related to current issues in research.

Search Tips

When searching in databases, you will start with keywords related to each aspect of your topic. For example, you wouldn't want to type in "Guns should not be allowed on college campuses" into any database search box. You would want to type in:

guns AND "college campus"

PRO TIP: Putting quotation marks around your phrases will help to improve your search results.

What is Peer Review?

Peer reviewed articles have gone through a rigorous review process conducted by experts in that particular field. If it is a research article it is very important that the research was conducted accurately and ethically. When a researcher or scholar submits an article to a journal for peer-review, if it is accepted, they will need to make improvements. After a couple of rounds of edits an article can finally be published. The whole process takes a few months to more than a year. Not all articles are accepted! Articles are usually rejected more often than accepted, so publishing in a peer reviewed journal is a great accomplishment. Because peer-reviewed articles go through such a rigorous review process they considered to be reliable.

This video, created by our friends at NCSU Libraries does a great job of explaining peer-review.

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