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Problem Solution Paper: Home

English 1000

Doing Research


We recommend the following databases for this assignment:

  • CQ Researcher
    Presents arguments on both sides of controversial issues. 
  • Lexis-Nexis Academic
    An international news database. 
    You can exclude editorials by using the advanced search, putting your search term in the first blank, switching the AND to AND NOT, and putting the words opinion or editorial or op-ed in the second box. Or you can pull up editorials, specifically, by doing the same thing but leaving the AND box alone.  Remember that news outlets in other countries do not always draw firm distinctions between news and opinion stories. Truncation: !
  • Academic Search Premier
    A general database with some magazine articles and some articles from scholarly journals.  You may limit searches to articles in scholarly journals, and/or to full-text articles. Truncation: *

Some databases send the full-text articles to your screen, where you can print, email or save them. Other databases provide just the citation.  If your database provides the article citation only, then you will need to check the "Find a Specific Article/Journal" link from the library home page to see if another database carries the journal in full text for the issue/date you want.  Search by the name of the journal.  If you do not find an online version, then search MERLIN to see if our library owns the paper version of the journal you need. 

You may make a copy of the article at the Copy Services.  


Searching the MERLIN Catalog

  • Go to the MERLIN library catalog, which is a link from our library home page.
  • Choose University of Missouri-Columbia Libraries.
  • To search for books on a topic, choose KeyWord. 
    This will search for words in the title, subject headings and sometimes even the table of contents.
  • Construct powerful keyword searches using (), AND, OR, and *.
    • Examples:
      • (SAT test* or standardized test*) and (bias* or problem* or issue* or controvers*)
      • stem cell and (soci* or debate* or benef* or moral* or ethic*)

To see if MU subscribes to a journal, magazine or newspaper, use the Journal, Magazine and Newspaper Titles search.

Finding the actual book 

Examine the boxes with the library location, call number, and availability.  To find out the physical location of a call number in Ellis library, use the paper location guides (yellow slips), signs by elevators, or the the link from the word "Ellis" in the location box.

Current issues of journals, magazines and newspapers in Ellis are shelved in the Current Periodicals Reading Room

Older issues are generally shelved by call number among the books.

If a book is marked "not checked out" but you can't find it on the shelf, check on the reshelving shelves, both on the floor the book should be on, and on the fourth floor of Ellis (carts and reshelving room).  In the case of a journal volume, check the shelves outside of Copy Services on the first floor of Ellis.

Expanding a search

Check the subject headings in the MERLIN records.  They may link you to additional books on your topic Click on the MOBIUS button to find books available in the statewide MOBIUS library system if you don't find enough available books on campus.  


The library has citation manuals on the Ready Reference shelves directly behind the Reference Desk.

There also citations guides on the web.

You will find guidelines for citing the online version of CQ Researcher on its opening page.  Look for the How to Cite link on the left.

Subject Librarian

Anne Barker's picture
Anne Barker
164 Ellis Library


Lily Mabura