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Welcome to the 11A Research Project Page

Literature for 11A

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Also available from the GCC Library website in full text as an ebook


Library Resources for Your 11A Research Project

Library Resources for Your 11A Research Project

The databases featured on this page will help you find credible, authoritative information about topics related to the works you are reading this semester. All of these sources are FREE to registered GCC students in the high school programs!

Select from the menu on the left to find out more about how to use academic sources responsibly and how to cite your sources using MLA format.

Choose Your Topic

One of the most difficult things when getting started on a research paper can be coming up with a strategy to begin exploring a topic. Some topics are too broad, and need to be broken down into smaller parts, which can help a lot. Some topics are too narrow, and need to be expanded.

just-right topic will reflect the length of a research paper (how many pages are you required to write?), the amount of time you have to complete the paper, and the number of sources you're being asked to incorporate into your paper.

Background Research

One way to come up with a topic is to do background research. This includes reading encyclopedia articles to learn more about a broad subject. Once you know more about the subject, you can make connections between topics and sub-topics. Then write a short summary of what you have learned from your background research.

It helps to think of your main topic as a starting point for your research, not a destination. 

 Research Ideas

Here are some ideas for topics for your project. Feel free to ask your instructor about choosing a slightly different topic.

  • The Native Americans
  • The African Slave Trade
  • Religion and Morality
  • Civil Disobedience
  • The Civil War

Essential Questions

Use an essential question to narrow your topic and develop your paper's thesis. Here are some examples of essential questions. For more, refer to your class Research Guide or speak to your instructor.

  • How did the Civil War illustrate the similarities and/or differences of people in the South and North in America of the 1860's?
  • How did Abolitionists use civil disobedience to fight slavery? 

Citing Sources Using MLA

MLA Handbook Book Jacket

Your Works Cited Page

You'll be using MLA format to cite each of the sources used in your paper. MLA format has two primary functions:

  • In-text Citations: In-text citations are presented in the text of your paper when you directly cite or paraphrase from a source. 
  • Works Cited List: The Works Cited list includes all of the sources you use in your paper, arranged in alphabetical order by the author's last name. 

MLA also provides guidelines on formatting your paper, from what to include on your cover page, where to place your page numbers, what size font you should use, and more! 

The websites below offer detailed information on how to use MLA. And you're always welcome to ask a GCC librarian for help with MLA - or anything else!

Chat with a GCC librarian



Recommended Databases

The databases listed below are FREE to students enrolled in classes at Garfield Campus!

Databases are frequently the best place to begin your research and often have more reliable and authoritative information than what you'll find in Google. 

When searching in databases, it's important to use the right keywords or phrases to describe your topic. A keyword is a single word that defines what you are seeking. A phrase is two or more words that define what you are seeking.

Depending on your topic, you can combine keywords and/or phrases to narrow or broaden your search. Here are a couple of examples related to your assignment using the African American Slave Trade as your main topic.

African Slave Trade AND Middle Passage

Abolitionism AND African Slave Trade

Begin your research by exploring the databases below and see where they lead you!

Reference Sources

The library provides access to several reference databases to help you find general information about a topic. Britannica Academic, Credo Reference, and Gale EBOOKS Library are three databases that can help you start searching for an overview about your topic and other related information.

Britannica Academic

Credo Reference

Gale Ebooks

Article and Subject Databases

Article databases focus on specific subjects and provide sources from periodicals, including newspaper, magazine, and journal articles. Subject databases may include sources from reference sources such as encyclopedias and bibliographies plus topic overviews, literary criticisms, and images, and even primary sources. The following databases emphasize literary works and historical events in the United States.

America: History and Life with Full Text 

EbscoHost: America: History and Life with Full Text

Daily Life Through History

Daily Life Through History


ProQuest Research Library


Kanopy - "The Civil War: Emancipation Proclamation" (46:00)

link to video about the Civil War

To view Kanopy videos, first click on the video above to open the GCC Sign-In portal. Once you have signed in using your Canvas username and password, Kanopy will open. To view videos, you can create a Kanopy account using your GCC student email address. Click on the red "Log In To Glendale" button. Clicking on the video image above will open the database log in page. After logging in, Kanopy will open. Once you have created your account, you can search for the video by title and view it or save it to watch later.

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