Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

ENC 1101 (Morehead): Background Research


The best topics are the the ones that you are personally interested in learning more about or would like to share with your reader. Many people select a topic that relates to their personal/family/friend's lives, college education, economic experience, personal environment (local community/county/state), culture, or more.

What is a Database?

A library database:

  • a collection of information, usually articles
  • a subscription service, which means you have to login to use it
  • contains information that is not free on the web
  • searchable
  • uses searching language: keywords and subject headings
  • included articles have been chosen
  • included articles have subject headings

Databases for Topic Selection

The library databases below will provide topic ideas through pro and con arguments or viewpoint articles on controversial issues.

Opposing Viewpoints has a particularly large number of potential topics: click the Browse All Topics button to see them all.

Additionally, the library databases below provides background information which is part of the preliminary research phase. Some of the sources you find may provide historical background on key terms, people, or events. You can use these concepts to do more in depth research.

Remember that background or viewpoint articles cannot be used as a source for the upcoming paper.

The Valencia College libraries do not welcome solicitation of resources to be added to our LibGuides. This includes but is not limited to vendors, search engine optimizers, placement of ads, products, or any other requests. Our LibGuides are carefully curated resources developed in partnership with faculty, staff, and students to support specific assignments, courses, events, and other related purposes at Valencia College. The Valencia libraries reserve the right to ignore LibGuide resource solicitations, and/or block persistent requests from groups or individuals to add or promote links in our LibGuides.