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AHS Subject Guides: English: W. Rocco English II

This guide includes print and online resources for English: Courses include: English Literature, Communication, Expository Writing, Creative Writing, Journalism, Humanities, Reading, etc.

Rocco: English II AND AP Capstone, Introduction to Online Resources

William Rocco

English II AND AP Capstone

Introduction to Online Sources (updated 9-2019)

Information literacy topics covered

- Determining the best sources

- Searching strategies for information

- Evaluating sources

- Using technology tools


During class:

1. To distinguish between different formats of research materials available online and judge the reliability of information, and to develop and practice searching strategies for relevant information.


Learning Expectations: Academic-Problem-solving: “Students will use appropriate tools strategically to solve problems.”


2. Overview of periodicals (notes are included at end of instructions for reference):

What is a periodical? What are the different types?

- ?

- ?

- ?

- ?


3. What are the different types of online databases sources available? (notes are included at end of instructions for reference):

3.A. School Product Database Sites (paid subscription $$$):


- ABC Clio World History: Issues



3.B. Specialized Academic Databases (usually paid subscription $$$):


- PsycINFO (psychology, and related fields, not through Amity)

- EBSCO’s ERIC (Education)


3.C. Multi-disciplinary Academic Databases (paid subscription $$$):

- Academic Search Complete

- Jstor (available through Amity)


3.D. Database “Aggregators” (sometimes includes book catalogue) .

Offer searching of all or most databases from a single search box.


- Typical University Library Aggregator

- ResearchIT CT (iConn) (EBSCO database search tool)


3.E. Free Web Sites


- University of Virginia Library’s Mark Twain and his Times


4.a. School Product Database Site:



SIRS, school educational product, with mix of magazines/news/encyclopedic entries, with some advanced functions.

Search SIRS to find a relevant article that addresses your topic.

- Use tools to search for topic, play around for a few minutes.

- Take note of your surroundings:  

- Look for shortcuts or use Advanced Search

- Follow subject leads

- Refine results

- Save results

- Choose an article, skim it.

- Prepare to share one observation that you came up with about how searching works. If called on in class, post your link here.


4.c. Discuss


5.a. Multi-disciplinary Academic Database:

EBSCO’s Academic Search Complete: Information from many different fields, with a mix of periodicals, and lots of peer-review journals, and a college-level search functions.

Use the same strategies, but it is more powerful, gives more options, less “teaching”


5.b. Search

EBSCO’s Academic Search Complete, and find a relevant article that addresses your topic.

- Use tools to search for topic, play around for a few minutes.

- Take note of your surroundings:  

- Look for shortcuts or use Advanced Search

- Limit to Full Text if you are not desperate.

- Refine results with limiters for KIND of material.

- ALWAYS follow subject leads.

- Save results.

- Choose an article, skim it.

- Prepare to share one observation that you came up with about how searching works. If called on in class, post your link here.


5.c. Discuss


6.a. Free web source

University of Virginia Library’s Mark Twain and his Times, a university project that archives material about Samuel Clemens.

- Created by Professor Stephen Railton

- Organization is very quirky.

- Click through by trial and error to find the best way to search.

- You just have to look through EVERYTHING systematically, and save what is relevant.


6.b. Search

 Mark Twain and his Times:  and find a relevant article that addresses their topic.

- Browse the site.

- Identify some information.

- Prepare to share one observation that you came up with about how searching works. If called on in class, post your link here.


6.c. Discuss

Additional Tips:

- Get a library card so you can use all ResearchIT CT at home.

- Practice searching from our web page:


- ResearchIT CT for High Schools/ (all the databases for journals)

- Jstor

- You are MORE likely to find something useful for school FASTER from a paid database than from a web search.

- Everything that ISN’T useful has NOT been included.

- Everything you find in a full-text search is really available, as opposed to just being a summary (abstract).

- You can avoid “pseudo-authoritative” sources written by people who confuse opinion with science, and beliefs with objective facts.


Citation and Reference Information

How do you cite the article in the body of your paper? In general, MLA format, used most often in English and the humanities, follows an author and page number structure. This means that whenever you include an idea or quotation from a research source into your paper, you write the that the author’s name, and the page number the information came from.  The exact rules for doing this depend on what kind of source it is (print, web, conversation, etc.), and whether or not there actually is an “author”, or even a page number.

Your “Works Cited” page, also known as a reference page or bibliography, will appear at the end of your paper, and must include an entry for every source cited in the body of the text. The rules for creating references also depend on the kind of source, and all references are arranged by author in alphabetical order. Special rules apply when there is no author, or more than one work by an author (see the style guide at the Purdue OWL site).

You will need to follow the instructions and examples from a reliable source, like the writing experts at Purdue University’s MLA style pages.



Additional Open Web Resources:

Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn: Controversy at the Heart of a Classic

This is a teacher’s approach to addressing Huckleberry Finn. Some good links to primary sources.


Huck finn in Context: A Teaching Guide, from PBS

This is a unit plan on how to teach Huck Finn. It discusses the issues from the teacher’s point of view.

Developing an Annotated Bibliography

William Rocco

English II

Huck Finn: Developing an Annotated Bibliography (updated 4-2019)

Information literacy topics:

-Determining best sources

-Communicating new knowledge

-Creating/Writing a research-based product

-Using technology tools to create a citation.


1. Objective:

To understand what an annotated bibliography is and to produce an annotated bibliography of relevant resources found.


Discussion: Creating an Annotated Bibliography

What is an annotated bibliography?


Look at this sample from OWL Purdue. 

          The annotations included with each source generally follow this format:    



A summary includes an overview explaining what it is about.  



An assessment should be your judgement on the reliability of the source’s author/organization (credentials, expertise, trustworthy, etc.).  



A reflection should discuss in what way is the source relevant and how the source can be used to cite evidence that supports your claim.  


 There are 2 ways to create an annotated bibliography in Noodletools.

-After you have entered the necessary information to create a citation,  click save & add annotation.





-Insert your annotation under the dropdown on the right under “Options” and select “Edit annotation.”

2. Sample:


Based on the article titled: "The Los Angeles Riots Revisited: The Changing Face of the Los Angeles Unified School District and the Challenge for Educators" here is a sample annotation, addressing the required criteria.

Dr. Donna M. Davis, a Professor in the School of Education at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, has over 30 years experience in education. She taught high school English for 10 years before earning her doctorate at the University of Kansas. Dr. Davis teaches courses in the history and philosophy of education at UMKC and has been published in numerous scholarly journals in the areas of urban education, multicultural education, philosophy of education, history of education, arts education, and social justice. The portion of the article pertinent to my research is how there was a significant decrease in African American students enrolled in the Los Angeles school district following the Rodney King riots. This article questions whether schools could serve a larger role in preventing incidents like the Rodney King riots from occurring again. It brings up the idea that educational institutions could help develop positive relationships/interactions for students of diverse backgrounds, which ties into my research regarding how schools can address these challenges.

Amity High School, Amity Region 5 School District, Woodbridge, CT 06525, 203-397-4844 Librarians: Robert F. Musco and Victoria Hulse Copyright 2017