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ENGL 147: Writing Arguments About STEM

The purpose of this guide is to share search strategies, tips, and resources that support assignments in ENGL 147: Writing Arguments About STEM courses.


Welcome! In this guide, you will find search strategies and tips that support assignments in ENGL 147: Writing Arguments About STEM courses. The contents of this page are organized by assignment type. Jump to resources for your assignment:

Additional Resources:

If you need additional research help, visit the Research 101 Guide for self-paced tutorials, videos, and handouts, or get immediate help from a real person using the 24/7 Live Help Chat tool. 

Claim of Fact Resources

Where to Start Your Search

Begin with an initial background search to learn more about your topic (e.g., perform a search on Google or Duck Duck Go). Find reliable sources in OneSearch using keywords (search terms) and filtering. Use a variety of search terms including synonyms and related terms to your main research topics or ideas. Next, try searching one of the following databases using keywords, filtering, and boolean operators. Get help with your search by chatting with a librarian using the 24/7 Live Chat Help tool. For data-related search strategies, visualization techniques, and help from peer instructors, visit the Data, GIS, and Digital Projects Lab Guide.

Example topic: sustainability issues with plastic

Lenses in which to view the topic: production, disposal, and consumption

Example keywords to try in OneSearch and/or databases:

  • plastic or polyethylene or synthetic
  • production or manufacture or creation or industry or distribution
  • disposal or discard or dump or pollution or recycle
  • consumption or use or application


Claim of Value Resources

Where to Start Your Search

Begin with an initial background search to learn more about your topic and identify potential stakeholders. A general web search, like on Google, is a good starting place. Next, perform a search in OneSearch using keywords you identified in your preliminary search and filter your results to your resource needs (e.g., by date, by source type, etc). Following OneSearch, try searching one of the recommended databases below using keywords, filtering, and boolean operators

Strategies and Tips for finding stakeholders and stakeholder interviews:

  • Initial background searching will be key in identifying stakeholders on your topic. If we search for plastic pollution on Google, we may learn the names of production companies making plastic, communities affected by plastic pollution, etc via news articles, websites, or even wikipedia. Once you have more context on your topic and identified some stakeholder names, you can try searching to see if there are interviews available. Tip: if you hit paywalls on articles you find via Google, try a search with the title in OneSearch.
  • Tip: When searching in OneSearch or a database, put Stakeholder names in quotations "name" for a more precise search. 
  • In Academic Search Premier and Proquest Global Newsstream, you can limit your search results to just interviews and by type (e.g., scholarly journals, newspapers, podcasts, magazines, trade journals, etc).
  • Some publicly traded companies have activist stakeholders in the company who work to change the company "from the inside". For example, there is a group of Chevron stakeholders (activist shareholders) advocating for reduced carbon emissions (Article: Climate Activist Shareholders to Target US Oil Giant Chevron)


Claim of Policy (Advocacy) Resources

Find a policy (either existing or proposed)


General Web/Google Search

International Government Policies
California Policies and Executive Orders
U.S. Federal Policies
  • GovInfo: provides free public access to official publications from all three branches of the Federal Government. It is a service of the United States Government Publishing Office (GPO), which is a Federal agency in the legislative branch.

  • Govtrak by Subject: tracks the United States Congress and helps Americans participate in their national legislature. Find the status of federal legislation, information about your representative and senators in Congress including voting records, and original research on legislation. 

Translation Project Resources


You can find STEM-focused peer-reviewed scholarly journal articles, conference proceedings, and trade publication articles in the databases below. 


Visit the Patents Research Guide for resources that will help you understand, search, and access patents. 


Search Strategies

For a more precise search, identify database-specific subject headings (also called subject terms or index terms) to use in addition to concept keywords. In some engineering databases, like Engineering Village, subject headings are referred to as controlled vocabulary.