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Ninth Grade Research Project

 Contemporary Controversial Issue



Due Dates:

          Proposal/Topic…….….…………….February 21, 2014

          Notes, Bibliography, and Thesis......…March 10, 2014

          Draft  and Revised Thesis…..…….…March 31, 2014

          Final, typed Essay + the Draft…..….. April 28, 2014

Speeches delivered the week of June 2, 2014.


Books on the shelves at MHS:

            Search the MHS Library catalog from any computer with Internet access - Click ‘Search the Library Catalog.’  Focus your search by using the power search option.  Choose “keyword” as one of your options in the drop down menus.  Try a variety of search terms related to your topic – library catalogs have a very specialized vocabulary, so if you are having trouble finding material, please ask the librarian!

            If your results include items with a  blue e, they are electronic books or databases.  Just click on ‘Details” and scroll down to click on the hyperlink and use the appropriate password (see the list below), if necessary to open it.


Books from other libraries:

Click on Other Libraries to search the Metuchen Public Library and the JerseyCat interlibrary loan system.  We can call the public library to have them set the book aside for you to pick up.  Interlibrary loans get shipped to school, it can take up to 14 days, plan ahead!


Electronic Databases: Click on Databases then:


 Bibliography help:

 Landmarks Citation Machine or Easy Bib – Fill in the blanks with your source information

                              and this tool will format your works cited.


 Controversial Issues:

    Issues & Controversies  (metuchenhs/bulldogs)

    ABC-CLIO Databases (meshinf/infolink)

    Issues: Understanding Controversies & Society                                            

   Points of View (meshinf/infolink)


General Interest – Reference:

   American National Biography (metboe/metboe)

  *Gale Virtual Reference Library (metu_log) 

    Oxford Reference (metboe/metboe)

    Student Research Center (meshinf/infolink)



    ABC-CLIO World at War (metuchen08840/metuchen08840)

    AP Images (meshinf/infolink)– This database provides a sensory journey of photographs,

              audio sound bites, graphics, and text spanning over 160 years of history.

    History Database Center (metuchenhs/bulldogs)

    *INFOTRAC Periodicals Collection (metu_log)

                (Pop Culture, US History, and World History)



    Health Reference Center (metuchenhs/bulldogs)

    Teen Health and Wellness (metboe/metboe)

Magazines and Newspapers:


   EBSCO (meshinf/infolink)– EBSCOhost research databases search thousands of newspapers,                                              professional journals and magazines.                        

 *InfoTrac Custom Newspapers (metu_log)

   New York Times (ProQuest) (HTJ2PF24GS/WELCOME)  YT Newspapers from 1851 - present

   The Star Ledger ( and Home News Tribune ( also have                                                articles you can access online – you    might find a local connection to your topic.


    * Do a Power Search to search all  three databases at once!



A Word about Internet Resources


            The Internet can be a valuable source of recently published  information.  The challenge with sites on the Internet is that there is no control over what is published, therefore much erroneous and/or misleading information is floating around in cyberspace.  Many sites are platforms for people with extreme views, though their bias is often hard to detect.  Sites like Wikipedia function like encyclopedias, but entries can be  edited easily by anyone, whether they are authorities on the subject or not.

            If you use a search engine like Google, take the time to investigate the site before you decide to use it to defend your stance.  Some questions you should ask about the site are:   

            Authority –

                        Who created the page?

                        What organization is that person affiliated with?

                        Are you positive the information is valid and authoritative?

                                    What can you do to validate the information?

                        If you do a search on the creator of the page, do you find additional information that

                              shows the Web page author is an expert in the field?


            Content –

                        Is the purpose of the page indicated on the home page?

                        When was the document created?

                        If there is no date, is the information current?

                        Would information somewhere else have been different?

                        Did the information lead you to other sources, both print and Web, that were useful?

                        Is a bibliography of print sources included?

                        Does the information seem biased? (one sided, critical of opposing views, etc.)

                        Does the information contradict something you found somewhere else?