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Critical Writing: WRIT 050 Drugs for Life.: Overview

Seminar Reading

Scholarly Databases

Background Resources

Getting an Op-ed Published

Here are some resources on potential media outlets for your op-ed, along with the procedures for submitting op-eds to specific publications:

Tip: to find out more about a publication's op-ed submission guidelines, look for the "Contact Us" section of their website and send them an email.

Why use this guide?

This Critical Writing Program guide will help you to:

  • Read a citation
  • Find books and articles using citations and keywords
  • Choose the best scholarly resources for your topic
  • Find high-quality non-scholarly resources
  • Get personalized assistance!

Getting started on researching your White Paper

Getting Started: Define and Narrow Your Topic

  • Focus on specific topics and problems in your course text, for example a chapter in your course text or a well-defined topical area as defined by the author:  [customize: include specific course text]
  • Skim the course text's bibliography as a way to narrow your interest, looking for: 
    • Articles or chapters that spark your curiosity
    • Articles or chapters that relate to current issues of debate or importance
    • Skim the course text's index (if it has one), again as a way to narrow and define your interest area 

Since white papers are commonly focused on current problems of public interest, it is a good idea to search public sources to see what current problems or issues are part of that public discourse. At this point you are still in the exploration stage, your goal is to determine what your topical focus is and if it is one of current interest or debate. As you are searching, take notes as to how people are defining the problem, who the stakeholders are (who is being impacted by the problem), are there disagreements as to whether or not it actually is a problem.

News & Opinion Sites

You can search newspaper articles and opinion articles for your topic. The newspapers below all require that you set up a personal registration. Following the links will lead you to instruction pages for setting up your accounts. These registrations will stay with you throughout your time at Penn. 


Public Interest, Advocacy, and Policy Sites

"Think-tanks", public interest research groups and organizations, and policy advocates may all provide useful- although biased- perspectives and information about your topic, particularly when these groups are trying to influence policy at the federal or state level. To find statements and position papers from interest groups on a particular topic from diverse perspectives, use a library resources such as Policy Commons to search for information about your topic.

How to Read a Citation

Book citations generally show a publisher and a city of publication. Book chapters will include the title of the chapter as well as the name of the book.

Article citations have a journal/periodical title in addition to the article title. They will usually also show a volume and issue number, and may show a day and month.

The material for the pages on the "Using Sources (Citing, Quoting, and Paraphrasing)" tabs is taken from the guide, "Citation Practices and Avoiding Plagiarism: Examples of Paraphrase," developed by Penn Librarians, Katie Rawson and Nicole Santiago.

Using Citations to Find Articles

If you have a complete article citation, search Articles+ to find the full text of your article.

No luck? That doesn't mean we don't have access to the article - it could be in print! Try using the PennText Article Finder as a next step. You can find PennText on the Library homepage.

To find the full-text of an article, enter the journal name into the PennText article finder. A pop-up box will give you options to access the article online, in print, or the option to request through interlibrary loan.

Using Citations to Find Books

If your citation is a book, use Franklin, the Library catalog. Franklin will help you find the library in which the book is located, and the call number.

You can search for a specific book by title, author, or ISBN. You can also do a keyword or subject keyword search to find books on a particular topic.

Richard James- Nursing Liaison Librarian

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Richard James