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Teen Homework & Learning: Middle and High School

Research Databases

Even though you access databases online, they aren't websites. They contain full articles from peer-reviewed journals and magazines, excerpts from books, and all kinds of original reference content. The information you'll find by searching them is vetted and reliable. 

If connecting outside of the library, you'll be asked to enter your library card number.

NOTE: All of these can also be found through our home page, mynpl.org. Choose "Resources" from the bar across the top, then "Databases" from the drop-down menu. 

 

AMERICAN DECADES

A great source for researching a particular decade in American History from 1900-on. For each decade, it covers arts, business, fashion, politics, science and technology, sports, and more. Next to American Decades, you'll find American Eras, which provides primary source documents from American history from 1800-1899.

     

BIOGRAPHY IN CONTEXT

An AMAZING resource if you need to do a paper on a particular person. Start your research here. Search a name, and you'll get encyclopedia entries, magazine and newspaper articles, articles from academic journals, and even images and sound files if they're available--all in one place.

 

ELM is a collection of databases. Click on ELM to access them (here, or from the library's main "Databases" page). Once you're in, choose "Students," then Elementary, Middle School, or High School to bring up the databases targeted to your level. Some especially useful for homework and found under ELM are:

 

POINTS OF VIEW REFERENCE CENTER (find under ELM's "Databases A-Z" menu)  is the database to use if you're writing about a controversial topic, particularly if you need to argue for or against something in an essay. It's kept really up to date, so if there's an issue being debated in the news right now, you'll probably find it here. Sample topics: Refugee Resettlement, Transgender Restroom Use, and Police Brutality.

 

ACADEMIC SEARCH PREMIER (find under ELM's "Databases A-Z" menu)  When you need scholarly and peer-reviewed articles, head to Academic Search Premier, which contains thousands of articles from academic journals. Tip: under "Limit your results," check the box for Full Text. This will limit your search to fully accessible articles (otherwise, you may get some that are citations only).

 

MasterFILE PREMIER (find under ELM's "Databases A-Z" menu)  This database provides a convenient way to search for magazine articles. Search both archives and current issues of National Geographic, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Science News, Time, and hundreds more.

SCIENCE REFERENCE CENTER  (find under ELM's "Databases A-Z" menu) Search science reference books, science videos, science magazines, science images, and more in Science Reference Center. Browse by category: Applied Sciences, Earth Sciences, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Scientists, and Space Sciences and Astronomy.

 

NEWSPAPERS: Under ELM, you'll find the full text of The Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Star Tribune, and the New York Times, among others.You can also access the Historical Minneapolis Tribune, with articles from 1867-1922 (remember: historical newspaper articles count as primary sources).

PROQUEST is another database for searching newspapers. TIP: check the box for "Full Text" under the main search box to make sure you get full articles, not just citations. If you want to see if ProQuest carries a particular paper, click "Publications," then search by title.

Research Sites

GOVERNMENT, HISTORY, & SOCIAL STUDIES

                       

 American FactFinder -- Search on a state, county, city, town, or ZIP code. American FactFinder   plumbs U.S. Census data to provide information on the region's demographics, including sex, race,  age distribution, poverty, employment, educational attainment, languages spoken at home, and  more.

 CIA World Factbook --information on the people, history, government, economy, geography,  military, and more for 267 countries and world entities. Includes maps, flags, rosters of government  officials in foreign countries, and more.

FedStats: Agencies --quickly find statistics from every federal agency and organization

National Archives --records, primary source documents from a copy of the Constitution with George Washington's handwritten notes on it to WWII posters to a card Saddam Hussein sent to George H.W. Bush.  The "Special Topics and Tools" section is a good entry point when searching for primary source documents related to American history.

Newseum: Today's Front Pages --today's front pages of newspapers from all over the U.S. and world. Archives pages from dates with historic significance (inaugurations, events like the earthquake in Haiti, notable deaths, etc--great primary sources)

 

SCIENCE

NASA for Students

Science Buddies -- Especially useful for finding science project ideas by branch of science, grade, and amount of time they'll take and exploring careers in science