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ENGL15 Rhetoric and Composition (Reed)

This guide is for Stephen Reed's sections of ENGL15.

Scholarly Sources

Search Strategies

  1. Do a keyword search for e-books and videos in the Penn State Libraries Catalog. Keyword searches look for text matching the search term in the title, author, subject and summary fields. It retrieves the most results of any kind of search, but the results may include some less relevant materials.
  2. Do a subject search for e-books and videos in the Penn State Libraries Catalog. Subject searches look for text matching the search term in the subject field only. Subject fields, like tags on social media, are created to capture the main topics addressed in a book or other work. This means fewer results are retrieved, but all results should be relevant to the search.
  • You can also try filtering by access type and format, just like you would for keyword searches (see above)
  1. Search for journal articles in LionSearch. Here are a few tips:

Popular Sources

Search Strategies

  1. Start with Wikipedia.
  2. Check for news articles from major news sources
    • Sources such as: The New York Times, NPR (National Public Radio), BBC, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, etc.
    • Note: As a PSU student, faculty or staff member you have full access to The New York Times and Wall Street Journal through our newspaper readership program (see here for details).

Evaluate Your Sources

Fact-Check your sources using the SIFT method!

  1. Stop. Do you know this source (the author, the website, the publication)? Is it trustworthy? If you're not sure, dig deeper.
  2. Investigate the source. Open up a new tab and Google the source. See if you can find more information about it on Mediabiasfactcheck.comSnopes, or other fact-checking websites.
  3. Find trusted coverage. Determine the claims your source is making. Look for more information about those claims in sources you trust. Google the claim.
  4. Trace claims, quotes, and media back to the original context.

Caulfield, Mike. "SIFT (The Four Moves)". HapGood, Accessed March 26, 2020.

Interivews and Podcasts

Search Strategies

  1. If you're a podcast listener, look for them in the places you would usually look, like the Apple Podcasts app
  2. Other podcast search engines include and​
    • These allow you to apply more filters to help in your search
  3. Don't forget to do some searching to find out more about the podcast and host or interviewer
    • Simply Googling the podcast and/or host to see what other websites say about them can give you important information about biases or the context in which the interview took place.