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Researching U.S. Culture: Home

English 1000


Background Sources

  • Gale Virtual Reference Library - multi-book search
  • American Decades READY REF E169.12.A419 1994
  • St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture READY REF E169.1.S764 2000
  • Encyclopedia of American Social History REF HN57.E58 1993
  • Encyclopedia of Contemporary American Culture REF E169.12 .E49 2001
  • Greenwood Guide to American Popular Culture REF E169.1 .G7555 2002 (4 volumes)
  • CQ Researcher - Focusing on one topic, each weekly CQ Researcher provides extensive background information and discussion of the pro's and con's of controversial issues.


Search the MERLIN Library Catalog to find books.

Select the Keyword search and type in the words describing your topic.

Example: football and violence

You can also use the Subject Headings to find related books.  Click on the subjects in the book record or try a Subject (LC) search.

Remember that you can expand your search by clicking the Search MOBIUS button to search all academic libraries in Missouri. 

Journal Articles

To find journal, magazine and newspaper articles, you need to search an index for your topic. For this assignment, try searching these indexes:

If the database you are using does not contain the full text of an item you want, look for the Find It At MU button, which will check the MU Libraries' other databases for full text availability.  If it is not available online, there will be a link to search the title in the MERLIN Library Catalog to see if the library has it in paper format.  

News Articles and Transcripts

  • Lexis-Nexis Academic - Full text of newspaper articles, television transcripts and some archived blogs.


Search Techniques

  • The truncation symbol (*) will provide variant spelling after the root word.  Example: cultur* will search for culture, cultures, cultural, etc.
  • If TOO FEW hits: use OR to add synonyms (example: comics or cartoons); remove excess words; drop concept(s) with AND; truncate words; consider other databases
  • If TOO MANY hits: use AND to add another concept into the search; use other available limiters in the database (example, scholarly journals, date, etc.)
  • Do an advanced search and take advantage of the fields provided (example, limiting words to title).

Citing Your Work

If you need assistance citing the resources used for your paper, go to our Writing & Citing: Paper Assistance page, which includes links for the MLA format.

Subject Guide

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Rhonda Whithaus
Head, Research & Information Services
154 Ellis Library
University of Missouri-Columbia


Rebecca Richardson