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Waidner-Spahr Library

Environmental Science & Environmental Studies: ENST 161

ENST 161 Newspaper Op-ED Assignment

This guide is designed to help you find four (or more) sources that will provide evidence in support of your argument in your Op-Ed. These sources should come from:

  • Peer reviewed journals;
  • Published books; or 
  • Government reports.

Below are some suggestions for finding these different sources.

Choosing Search Terms

Video Tutorial Part 1: Where is my book in Waidner-Spahr Library?

Video Tutorial Part 2: How are books put in order on a shelf?

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Search library databases to find peer-reviewed articles on your topic.  

  • You can find a list of Environmental Studies databases on the articles tab of this guide.

    While most of those databases will include scholarly, peer-reviewed articles, they will also contain other kinds of sources.  On your results page, limit by Source Type by selecting Academic Journals.  Most of the resulting sources will be peer-reviewed articles.
  • To find peer-reviewed articles outside of Environmental Studies literature, consider databases in other subject areas that might relate to your topic (e.g. Sociology, Economics, Health Studies) . The full database list can be narrowed by subject or database type.


The books tab on this guide will walk you through the process of finding books.

  • The library catalog will show you books that we have in our library. 
  • JumpStart and other databases will tell you about additional books that you may borrow from other libraries. Narrow your search results in those databases to show the Book source type. 
    • Books can be found in some of the environmental studies databases, like Environment Complete, which also contain peer-reviewed articles.

Government Reports

Examples of Google Site Searches for government reports (or reports from any organization you choose):

  • [your keywords, without the brackets]
    This will give you results from any .gov site (which includes U.S. state and federal government sites). 
  • [your keywords, without the brackets]
    This will give you results from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, including agencies like PADEP and DCNR.
  • [your keywords, without the brackets]
    This will give you results from the Environmental Protection Agency website.
  • [your keywords, without the brackets]
    This will give you results from the United Nations website.

Not all of the results you see on these government or organization websites will be the in-depth reports that you need.  You will also see some simple web pages directed at the public. But, there should be reports among them.  Look for PDF files in your search results.


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