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Research in the Disciplines Supplementary Research Guide 01:355:201

Visit this research guide for articles, websites, and other resources for your Research in the Disciplines class

Time spent gaining background knowledge will make later research and writing more effective

Essential Questions to Guide You:

  • Existence: Does a problem exist? Who is affected? What individuals or groups have an interest in the problem although may or may not be affected?
  • Definition: How do we characterize the problem?
  • Cause: What caused the problem?
  • Action: What should we do about the problem? And what may be the unintended consequences of the action?
  • Jurisdiction: Who should decide what we do about the problem?

Helpful Library Resources for Topic Ideas & Background Research


An encyclopedia is a starting point for research, not an ending point.

"An encyclopedia, whether a paper one like Britannica or an online one, is great for getting a general understanding of a subject before you dive into it. But then you do have to dive into your subject, using books and articles and other higher-quality sources to do better research. Research from these sources will be more detailed, more precise, more carefully reasoned, and more broadly peer reviewed than the summary you found in an encyclopedia. These will be the sources you cite in your paper. There is no need to cite Wikipedia in this case." Wikipedia:Academic use

All sources have to be evaluated.

Learn how to quickly and effectively evaluate sources HERE

Online Resources


National Center for Education Research

Environmental Issues

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Environment New Jersey

General Encyclopedia and Fact-Checking


Watch the video "Using Wikipedia" HERE.

Interesting and Unusual Research Ideas


ProPublica Topics

International News

Al Jazeera English


Local Issues

Daily Targum

Rutgers Today


New York Times political coverage

Create your free NYT subscription account by clicking the link in the library website:

Science Developments

Science Daily

Social Trends 

Pew Research Center

Technology Developments

Popular Mechanics


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