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CMP101 - Composition 1 - Buscemi

Researching Topics About Food

word cloud for super size me 2

In order to find sources on your topic, you will need to come up with keywords that you can use to search in library databases. These words are important, they are the key to effective research.


Let's take a look at one of the possible topics for the movie, Super Size Me 2.

Parents should eliminate processed foods from their children's diets


Take some time to dissect your topic by identifying your main concepts.

  • Processed foods
  • Reasons for eliminating from the diet
  • Children

Look up definitions for your concepts and identify synonyms and other terms that relate to them.

Processed foods
Refined foods
Junk food
Added sugar
Added fat
Added salt
Food preservatives
Health Effects
Side effects
High Cholesterol
Nutritional value
Young Children

When searching for sources on your topic, keep your list of keywords handy. Try different combinations from your list and take note of any new terms you come across while searching.

Try a couple of different searches to see what keywords are most effective.

  • Processed foods AND Nutrition AND Young children
  • Added sugar AND Diabetes AND Children
  • Food preservatives AND ADHD AND Adolescents


Remember, be flexible and persistent. Research is not always easy, we can help you when you get stuck.

The Opposing Viewpoints In Context Database

Opposing Viewpoints

Is global warming real? Should the minimum wage be raised? Is junk food really hurting us? 

Find credible sources on these and hundreds of other social and political issues with Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints. Unlike websites, this database simplifies your search by bringing together articles, videos, and stats you can trust and cite. 

Having a clear, compelling point of view on today’s most debated political and social issues requires finding the most credible facts and insights. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints simplifies your search by bringing together thousands of resources to provide authoritative articles, research reports, videos, and statistics. This database steers you away from unreliable content that online browsers sometimes serve up and helps you draw your own conclusions about global warming, the minimum wage, and hundreds of other debated topics.

Browsing Topics

Our Opposing Viewpoints database allows students to browse larger issues by choosing an issue from a list.

Links to issues in opposing viewpoints

The topic pages give an overview of the topic and access to a variety of different types of sources.

example of a topic page in opposing viewpoints

menu of different source types in opposing viewpoints

The "Viewpoints" articles are great for narrowing down your topic.

Getting Results

Use the "On this Page" menu to access articles, books, videos, and other sources about the topic.

menu of different source types in opposing viewpoints

You can also do a keyword search at the top of the page but keep in mind that not all of the results from a keyword search will be about your topic.

opposing viewpoints search box

Saving Documents

There are several ways you can save a document in the Opposing Viewpoints database. There are 2 menus that you can use (shown below) located near the top of the screen.

options for saving in opposing viewpoints

options for saving in opposing viewpoints

The Cite optionThe Cite option allows you to export the citation information and link to RefWorks.

The send to optionThe Send To option allows you to send the article in an email or save it to your Google or One Drive.

the download optionThe Download option allows you to download the article to your computer or external drive.

the print optionThe Print option will format the article for better printing.

Citing Sources

The cite optionTo cite a source from Opposing Viewpoints, click on the "Cite" button.

citation menu in opposing viewpoints

From the citation box, you can select the citation style and copy the citation or export it to Refworks.

If you email a source from Opposing Viewpoints, the MLA citation information will be at the bottom of your email.

Try our new Snap Search to look for resources on your topic. Here, you will find books, academic journals, videos, newspapers, magazines, and more from most of our databases. In some cases, you might need to search individual databases but most often this will give you what you need.

Snap search

Use the SNAP! Search limiters to narrow down your results by selecting source types, subjects, date ranges and more. These limiters will be located on the left side of your results.

You can also use the Advanced Search to refine your search results. 

eds advance search

The TX All Text option will give you more results by searching the full-text of the document for your search terms. Use caution with the other options in this list, they may not do what you think they should. For most searches, it's best not to select an option. Use the TX option when you don't get any or many results.

Argumentative Essays

An important thing to remember when you're writing a persuasive essay is that you're writing for an audience. You should keep your audience in mind and present your information in a logical order.  Make sure to offer definitions to help them understand. In this exercise, you are trying to persuade someone to agree with your argument. Back up your argument with credible facts; this is the most important part of this type of research. To make a good argument you must be able to define your terms, show research or statistics that support your claims, counteract the other side of the argument, and always cite your sources.

Define your terms: this is important for you and your audience to understand exactly what you're talking about. Try Credo Reference for Online reference sources. This is the best place to begin your research.

Show research or statistics that back up your argument: this is the main focus of your research. Your argument is only as credible as the sources you provide. Opposing Viewpoints is an excellent database for this type of research.

Counteract the other side of the argument: you should be able to convince people why your argument makes more sense than the other side. Research both sides of the argument to make yours more effective.

Always cite your sources: this is essential! Keep track of your sources as you find them. Look under the "Citing Your Sources" tab for more information on citing.

Selecting Sources

As you search for information about your topic, look at each source you find with these questions in mind:

  • What new information does this source add?
  • What claim does it support?
  • How does it help your focus?
  • What new questions does it raise?
  • Does it lead to any other sources of information that might provide more details or better evidence?

Applying these questions to each source you find will allow you to quickly eliminate unnecessary sources.