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Comp II with Christina Van Roekel: Home

Research resources for Composition II

General Writing Resources

Iowa City Kirkwood Writing Center 

The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL)

Tips on Procrastination and Writing from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Writing Center (You can see other helpful writing handouts from UNC here)

How to successfully revise your prose from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Other Guides You May Find Helpful

Citation Guides
Learn how to cite resources of all kinds in MLA, APA, or Chicago Style. 

Finding Newspaper Articles through Kirkwood Libraries
This resource will help you find newspaper articles using the tools available to Kirkwood students through the library.  

What are Scholarly Journal Articles? 
Learn about the various kinds of research available and when to use what kind of resource. 

Evaluating Web Resources
Learn how to evaluate web-based resources for use in scholarly research.

Interlibrary Loan
A step-by-step guide on requesting books and articles from other libraries 

Further resources at the Kirkwood Library

Did you know that there is one-on-one, personalized help available to you from a librarian? You'll not only walk away with a LOT of information for your research paper, but you'll learn something about the research process. All of Kirkwood's reference librarians have Master's degrees in Library and Information Science and are here to help you!

The libraries can offer you:

  • Books! Search the library catalog
  • Inter-library loan (ILL): If Kirkwood doesn't own a book, we can either find it at another local library (Iowa City or Cedar Rapids public libraries) or request the book via ILL. You can search the "world catalog", or WorldCat, on your own, too. To do so, click "WordCat" from the library home page.
  • Research databases: Kirkwood subscribes to many research databases that collect information from scholarly journals, newspapers, magazines, and myriad other print and electronic resources. The most relevant for poetry is Literature Resource Center, which is also linked and explained above in "Poetry-Specific Resources." 
  • Consultation with a professional librarian: never hesitate to ask a reference librarian for help. It's our job to make sure you're successful in research and school!

We offer other services such as computers, laptop check-out, meeting rooms, and more. See our Library Services page for more! 

Ask a Librarian

Cedar Rapids Campus Library
       Phone: 319-398-5697
       Toll-free 866-452-8504

Iowa City Campus Library
       Phone: 319-887-3613

Recommended Readings

Your texts for this class are: .
Everything's An Argument. The publisher's website for the text has some great resources for you.
Diane Hacker's A Pocket Style Manual. There is a site for this text as well.


Below are links to relevant research databases from Kirkwood. For a full list of the Kirkwood databases, please see

If you are accessing these off-campus, you may be required to log in with your k number and EagleNet password. 


The database “Academic Search Elite” is the best place to start searching for magazine and journal ("scholarly") articles on almost any topic.


  1. Play around with the search terms you use. If your first try doesn’t get good results keep trying different terms and combinations.
  2. Use the subject terms found on the left hand side of the results screen to improve your search
  3. Use the “Cite” button to the right of the citations to make citing the articles much easier.

CQ Researcher

Instead of articles like you'd find in EBSCOhost, the information found here is in the form of reports, all from the same publication. Think of them as a combination of encyclopedia article, debate arguments and guide to researching the topic, all in one place.


  1. Try both searching and browsing topics. Depending on your topic, you may get better results with one way than with another
  2. To get ideas for topics, use the Pro/Con and Issue Tracker links along the left hand side of the screen
  3. To find lists of additional recommended books, articles and websites, once you’re in a report click the Bibliography, The Next Step and Footnotes links along the left hand side of the screen.
  4. Click “Cite Now” at the top of the report to get a citation you can copy and paste to save for your own Works Cited list. Remember to double-check for accuracy.


Access newspapers from all over the country and the world. Includes the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and local papers The Iowa City Press Citizen and the Des Moines Register. (The Cedar Rapids Gazette can be searched in EbscoHost’s Newspaper Source database.)


  1. After running your search look at the “Narrow results by” box on the right side of the results screen. Think particularly about limiting by location and/or by date, as these can be quick and easy ways to focus in on just those most pertinent articles.
  2. To search articles in a single newspaper click on “Publications”, type in one or two words of the title and hit enter. Click on the title of the newspaper you want to search, and you’ll have the option of browsing to a specific date or searching all articles in that paper by keyword.

Opposing Viewpoints in Context

This database features a collection of essays, each presenting an argument with supporting information. It’s a great place to see: current hot topics to generate ideas for your own research topic, a range of different opinions about a specific issue, and examples of opinion/argument essays. You will also find great supplemental materials such as magazine, journal and newspaper articles, videos, statistics, primary sources and encyclopedia articles.


  1. Search your specific keywords to get an idea of what “viewpoint” articles are there.
  2. Also search your broad topic to see all the supplemental general information that may be helpful to you.

Library Catalog

This searches for books, DVDs and other materials held by the libraries at both the Iowa City and Cedar Rapids campuses, as well as our e-book (online books) collection.


  1. If your specific search terms don't get good results, try a more broad search. For example, if water pollution mississippi iowa doesn't get any results, try simply water pollution.
  2. To search only ebooks, go directly to EBSCO eBooks.


In addition to the following links, see links above for Opposing Viewpoints and EBSCOhost