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ENGL-202-01: Intro to Journalism

What's an issue story?

An issue story explores a current topic or problem. This page offers some resources and strategies for researching your issue of interest.

Reference Works

Reference works like encyclopedias, dictionaries, directories, and handbooks can help you discover basic information—names, dates, definitions, summaries, etc.  These are good places to start when narrowing or choosing your topic, and when beginning research on an unfamiliar subject.




Books are helpful for gaining more in-depth knowledge of your topic.


Articles are helpful for more narrowly-focused (and often more recent) coverage of specific aspects of a topic.

News articles

These are good for getting current, local and/or national perspective on your topic. Some news sources to try:

Journal and magazine articles

If you're not sure what subject area your topic falls under or if your topic is interdisciplinary, try

If you have an idea of what subject area your topic is in, check

If you already know which database you'd like to search, see

A note about journals: Depending upon the intended audience of the journal (scholarly, professional, general/popular), the writing may be a bit difficult to understand for a layperson or too simplistic for your research purposes.  To strike a balance between too complicated and informative enough, you'll want to pay attention not only to the intended audience but also who's doing the writing to determine if it's authoritative and accurate.  For example: an article on a disease may appear in a popular magazine, but if it's a signed article written by a medical doctor, that has more authority than if it were written by someone outside the medical profession.

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