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ENC 1101 - Richmond (Dale Mabry): Home & Start

To help you complete your Cause/Effect Essay assignment


This Library Guide will help you complete your Cause/Effect Essay assignment.

Start your research on this page. Use the tabs above to navigate other pages.

For MLA guides, select Citing & Writing (link opens to a page on this guide)If you have questions, please refer to the Help page(link opens to a page on this guide).

Good luck!

Search HCC Libraries

Find Books, Articles, Media, & more:

Keyword Search Term Map

When you choose your topic from the list provided, find the main point or idea of your topic.  For example, The decline of marriage rates in America.  You cannot type this into the search box as is.  You must break it down first. 

Main Keyword Search Term:  "marriage" or try "marriage rates"

Second Level Keyword Search Term:  "America"; "United States"

Third Level Keyword Search Term:  decline

Sample Keyword Search Terms to Use

  • "public education" AND "United States" AND decline
  • Fracking
  • "globalization" AND cause
    • best to narrow this topic to a subtopic of interest

    • Such as:  international trade; free trade;

  • "reality TV" OR "Reality Television" AND popularity OR "popular culture"
  • "high school" AND "drop out" OR dropout
  • "heart disease" AND causes OR "heart disease" AND effects
  • "reality shows" OR "reality TV" OR "reality television" AND popularity
  • "reality television shows" AND "popular culture"
  • "television shows" AND violence OR violent
  • movies AND violence OR violent; "movie violence" AND popularity OR "popular culture"
  • "video games" AND violence
  • "World War II" AND causes
  • "World War I" AND effects


More help with keywords and searching:

What Are Scholarly Books?

Scholarly books:

  • Are single-volume works that provide in-depth research into a specialized area of knowledge.
  • Contribute to the continuing scholarship in their fields by offering original insights based on new studies, experiments, etc., conducted by the authors.
  • Take into account--and cite--previous research done by other scholars.
  • Are written for an academic audience--faculty and other scholars--and high-level practitioners in their fields--rather than for general readers. Therefore, the language used can be highly specialized.

Many scholarly books are published by university presses. For example, the publisher's name may include the words, "University Press," such as in "Oxford University Press." But publishers that don't have these words in their names also publish scholarly books. Here are other things to look for when examining books to see if they are scholarly:

  • Does the author have an advanced degree (for example, a Ph.D. or Ed.D.), and/or are they associated with an academic institution?
  • Is there a bibliography at the end that cites all that sources (other books, journal articles, original documents, etc.) that the author used in their research?

Please ask a librarian if you'd like more help finding and identifying scholarly books.

This information is based on a guide by Booth Library, Eastern Illinois University.

Also Try These Individual Databases

Find Scholarly Articles

The databases listed below are great to use to find a scholarly article on your topic.  Hover over the database title for more information.  Remember, check Full Text and Scholarly (Peer-Reviewed) Journals - magazines are not typically scholarly so even if you have magazine articles that populate in the results, stick with academic journals to be safe.

What Are Journals? Peer Review? Scholarly Articles?

cover image of journal of family psychologyJournals...

contain articles usually written by scholars in an academic or professional field. An editorial board of experts in the field reviews articles to decide whether they should be accepted (this process is known as "peer review"). 

Articles in journals can cover very specific topics or narrow fields of research. 

Much of the research that you will do for academic purposes will involve finding and using scholarly, peer-reviewed articles from journals.

Many of the materials that you find in college-level research are scholarly articles, often called "peer-reviewed." In some instances, your professor will require that you use these types of articles as sources that you cite in your work. The resources below explain the typical appearance, structure and function of scholarly articles.

Authoritative Websites - Decline in Marriage Rates