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English 1A - Guide to Researching Hot Topics: Find Books

Guide to sources for generating ideas on topics and locating sources.

Books can be a useful place to start since you can find background information and perspectives on topics that can help you refine your topic and develop a thesis. Use the library catalog for this purpose. 

Library Catalog

Searching the Library Catalog

The EVC Library Catalog is accessed online. Search through the library's holdings for relevant books by author, title, subject or keyword

EVC Catalog

Locate a Title within a Series

The EVC Library has a number of series (see listed below) covering current and controversial topics. To find a book in one of these series on a topic you are researching, use these steps:

  • In the EVC Library Catalog under Advanced Search mode, choose a “Title” search and enter the title of the series (e.g., “Opposing Viewpoints Series”).  Make sure you select "Books" under Material Type.
  • Go through the alphabetical listing of titles to locate a topic on the one you are researching. Topics may include frequently studied ones, such as “drug abuse,” “terrorism,” “family violence,” and “biochemical weapons.”
  • Click on the title for location, call number, and availability information. Individual titles with series listed below have different call numbers and locations depending on their subject area.

 Some of these series are: 

  Opposing Viewpoints

Abortion Book Cover

Covers today’s social issues, from capital punishment to immigration, to violent video games. Presents issues in a pro/con format. 

  At Issue


Features a wide range of opinions on a single controversial subject. 

  Current Controversies

Presents an array of views from a wide spectrum of sources organized in a question-and-response format to encourage readers to view complex issues from multiple angles.




Library Card

To check out any resources or access articles and ebooks off campus, you must have an EVC student ID card. If you do not have a student ID card, you may pick one up at Admissions and Records.


Transferring Books from SJCC

 If you are searching the catalog and find that the book you need is located at SJCC, you may:

  • Transfer the book to the EVC library, which takes 3-4 days. To do this write down the title, author, year, call number and ask to have the book tranferred at the front desk. You will need your student ID card with you.
  • Go to SJCC and check out the book with your EVC student ID card.