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EN 104 - Friends, Romans, Countrymen


This is a guide to selected sources of information related to civil discourse in the Geisel Library. It is meant as a starting point for your research. For further research assistance, please take advantage of the reference services available to you in the Geisel Library. Stop by the Reference Desk in person or online at Ask a Librarian.


Research Basics

The reference librarians have created a group of Web pages named Research Help, designed to help teach you the basics of library research and to introduce you to Geisel Library. On the Research Help pages, you will find a guide on Research Basics and a helpful guide about evaluating your Web sources, our guide on Evaluating Websites. Please take advantage of these resources.


Reference Sources for Background Information

Reference books are shelved by Library of Congress call number  in the reference stacks near the reference desk. They may not be checked out, but photocopiers are available on the lower level of the Library. Online reference sources can be found in the library catalog, or listed on Reference E-Resources.

Online Reference Sources

Oxford Reference Online — The Place to Start
Contains electronic versions of commonly used Oxford dictionaries, encyclopedias and subject reference works.

Encyclopaedia Britannica Online
Find background information, keywords, biographies, and bibliographies

Routledge Encyclopedia Of Philosophy
More than 2,000 articles from the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy are now available online, making this an excellent source of background information for research in philosophy and related fields. The editors periodically add new entries written by leading scholars and also provide links to other sites and resources on the web, as well as updates of key entries.
     Ref B51 .R68 (print version)

CQ Researcher
"The CQ Researcher explores a single "hot" issue in the news in depth each week. Topics range from social and teen issues to environment, health, education and science and technology. There are 44 reports produced each year including four expanded reports."

New Dictionary of the History of Ideas
This is a unique resource that offers cross-cultural and interdisciplinary insight into the ideas that have shaped humanity and history. In over 750 articles, distinguished scholars from numerous fields discuss the evolution of our thinking about important concepts such as capitalism, justice, and mysticism. The articles also address how these ideas have shaped our social and cultural institutions over time.

Biographical Sources, Literary Criticism & Bibliographies

Literature Resource Center
This database combines three literary databases for biographical information, bibliographic listings of authors' works, plot summaries, and literary criticism for 90,000 novelists, poets, essayists, journalists and other writers. This resource also provides the full text of articles from more than 100 literary journals and has links to author's official web sites. Literature Resource Center includes the following databases:

  • Contemporary Authors
    A bio-bibliographical guide to over 120,000 current authors
  • Contemporary Literary Criticism Select
    Critical essays on contemporary authors
  • Dictionary of Literary Biography
    Bio-critical essays on 7,000 authors
  • Twentieth Century Literary Criticism
    Includes authors who died between 1900 and 1959

Important Titles to Consider in Reference

Dictionary of Moral Theology
     Ref BJ1249 .R723

     Ref BJ63 .E75 1994

History of Greek Philosophy 
     Ref B171 .G83 1962 

Philosophical Dictionary
     Ref B43 .B713

Encyclopedia Of Applied Ethics
     Ref BJ63 .A66 1998

Encyclopedia Of Ethics 
     Ref BJ63 .E45 1992

New Dictionary of the History of Ideas
     Ref CB 9 .N49

Companion to American Thought
     Ref E 169.1 .C685

Encyclopedia of the United States in the Nineteenth Century
     Ref E 169.1 E626  3 Volumes

American Years: Chronologies of American History and Experience
     Ref E 174.5 A54

Historical Documents of 2003
     Ref E 839.5 .H57

Encyclopedia of North American Indians
     Ref E 76.2 E53

Political Philosophy
     Ref JA71 .P6226 2001

Encyclopedia Of Rhetoric
     Ref PN172 .E52 2001


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Finding Books/Secondary Sources

Subject Headings Suggestions for the Book Catalog
The following Library of Congress subject headings are relevant to Civil Discourse:

Keyword Searches Suggestions for the Book Catalog

Use the * (asterisk) as a truncation symbol to retrieve variant forms of a word root. Use the Boolean OR to expand your search by including synonyms and related terms. When using two different Boolean commands in the same search statement ("and" and "or" in the preceding examples) you must include parentheses to indicate which command is to be performed first.

Samples of recommended sources found using Subject and Keyword searches in the General Collection:

Philosophy of Politics

Religion, Politics, And The American Experience
     BR526 .R46 2002

Doing Rhetorical History: Concepts and Cases
     E 175 .D65

Deeds Done in Words: Presidential Thetoric and the Genres of Governance
     E 176.1 .C19

Speaking to the People: the Rhetorical Presidency in Historical Perspective
     E 176.1 .S697

Abraham Lincoln: Speeches and Writings
     E 457.92 .F4 2 vols

Lincoln, Douglas, and Slavery: in the Crucible of Public Debate
     E 457.4 .Z29

Civil Society And Government
     JC336 .C5645

The Modern Presidency and Crisis Rhetoric
     JK518 .M64 1994

Aristotle on Political Reasoning : A Commentary on The Rhetoric
     PN173.A73 A7 1981

If you are unable to locate materials in the Geisel Library Catalog, search libraries worldwide using WorldCat.


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Indexes and Databases for Finding Periodical Articles

America: History and Life
Provides abstracts to journal articles, book/media reviews, and dissertations with a focus on United States and Canadian history and culture from prehistoric times to the present. (1964-present)   Journal List (PDF/59KB)

SocINDEX with Full Text
SocINDEX with Full Text is a comprehensive sociology research database. "The index features more than 1,300,000 records with subject headings from a 15,000 term sociology-specific thesaurus designed by expert lexicographers. SocINDEX with Full Text contains full text for 235 "core" coverage journals dating back to 1895, and 72 "priority" coverage journals. This database also includes full text for 545 books and monographs, and full text for 6,601 conference papers."

Project MUSE
"Project MUSE provides online, worldwide, institutional subscription access to the full text of more than 200 scholarly journals in arts and humanities, social sciences, and mathematics."  Journal List

Academic Search Premier
Gain access to full-text as well as indexing and abstracting for a wide range of journal titles covering business, social sciences, humanities, general science, and education.

Making of America - Cornell University
Making of America - University of Michigan
The Making of America is a "digital library of primary sources in American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction. The collection is particularly strong in the subject areas of education, psychology, American history, sociology, religion, and science and technology. This site provides access to 267 monograph volumes and over 100,000 journal articles with 19th century imprints."

New York Times
"The New York Times (1851-2003) offers full page and article images with searchable full text back to the first issue. The collection includes digital reproductions providing access to every page from every available issue."

Communication & Mass Media Complete
"Communication & Mass Media Complete provides the most robust, quality research solution in areas related to communication and mass media. This database originated with the acquisition and subsequent merging of two popular databases in the fields of communication and mass media studies -- CommSearch (formerly produced by the National Communication Association (NCA)), and Mass Media Articles Index (formerly produced by Pennsylvania State University). Communication & Mass Media Complete provides an invaluable resource for students, researchers, and educators interested in any and all aspects of communication and mass media."

Philosopher's Index
The premier international resource in philosophy, this database contains over 160,000 citations with abstracts to journal articles as well as books. (1940 - present)  Journal List (PDF/72KB)

List of Rhetoric Journals Owned by Geisel Library


Philosophy & Rhetoric 

Poroi: An Interdisciplinary Journal Of Rhetorical Analysis And Invention

Rhetoric & Public Affairs 

Rhetoric Review 

Rhetoric Society Quarterly

Political Communication

Quarterly Journal Of Speech

Quarterly Journal Of Speech Education

American Speech

Discourse (Berkeley, Calif.)

Discourse Analysis Online

Discourse Processes


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Primary Sources

Finding and Using Primary Source Documents


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Internet Sources

Aristotle, Rhetoric (ed. J. H. Freese)

ACLU Freedom Network
The American Civil Liberties Union provides information on several contemporary issues. They have included remarks by Justices of the Supreme Court to complement articles written on particular topics. In addition, recent news stories are provided for the corresponding topics.

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
"Founded in 1910, the Carnegie Endowment is a private nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing cooperation among nations and promoting active international engagement by the United States."

Center for Conflict Resolution
"The goal of the Center shall be to study, examine and address the nature of conflict and to teach, promote and foster non-violent, collaborative and peaceful ways to resolve such conflicts."

"The conflict resolution information source." A free service funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Ethics Connection(Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University)
This site offers articles, cases, briefings, and dialogue in all fields of applied ethics.

Ethics Updates
"Designed primarily to be used by ethics instructors and their students. It is intended to provide updates on current literature, both popular and professional, that relates to ethics."

National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC)
Founded in 1974, this organization is an alliance of 50 national non-profit organizations, united by a conviction that freedom of thought, inquiry, and expression must be defended.

United States Institute of Peace
"an independent, nonpartisan federal institution created and funded by Congress to strengthen the nation's capacity to promote the peaceful resolution of international conflict."

World Affairs Council
The World Affairs Council is a resource for people "who are trying to understand the impact of global issues and events on their daily lives."

This extensive index arranged by social issue provides links to information concerning social change in the areas of peace, social and economic justice, human rights, and the struggle against racism.


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Documenting Your Sources

See the library's Citing Sources guide for resources on how to properly cite research materials. Always confirm the style required by your instructor.


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