Biology 1110: Brentner

Welcome! Click on a tab below to find books, articles, and websites for use in this course.

You'll need a College of DuPage Library card in order to use most of the resources below from off campus. If your card is not working, it may need to be reactivated.

Questions? Feel free to use my contact info to the right, stop by the Reference Desk, or contact us by email or chat

Image Credit: Filchner Ice Shelf Calving, Nov. 11, 1973 and Nov. 10, 1986. Images taken by Landsat 1 (left) and Landsat 5 (right). Source: Earthshots: Satellite Images of Environmental Change, U.S. Geological Survey.
  1. Background
  2. Find Books/Articles
  3. Article Types
  4. Websites
  5. Cite

Getting Started: Narrowing Your Topic

Climate change is a massive topic that scientists have been studying for decades now. As you work on one of your three categories of climate change, you'll want to narrow down one of these topics even further: select one indicator, cause, or impact and start to write. Each of the entries below is linked to a government website with more information.

You can also see the EPA climate change map that breaks out impacts by section of the country.

Need to figure out exactly what ocean acidification is, or the role that fossil fuels play in climate change? Check out the sources below:

Find Books and Articles

Our new library catalog contains our books, our DVDs and other physical items, and articles from Academic Search Complete and Academic OneFile. Be sure to search by at least two keywords (such as climate change and ocean acidification) and pay attention to the ways to limit your search on the left side of the screen.

Finding Articles in Databases

Sometimes it can be easier to find exactly the articles you need in specific academic databases. Here are the top two databases to look for information for your project:

Academic Search Complete has a mixture of popular and scholarly articles on a variety of subjects. You'll want to be sure that you're using a source appropriate for class when searching.

Academic OneFile is a great place to find a mixture of scientific and popular articles as well. Just like in Academic Search premier, make sure that you're using a good source for this project while searching.

Science Online contains the full text of Science journal from 1997 to the present. Searching is a little hard, but you can find good results here.

See the full list of biology databases.

Types of Articles

Popular Articles

These articles, written by journalists, are published in magazines or newspapers and are aimed at a general audience. They may summarize the results of a research article. Check out a popular article on climate change in a blog on the New York Times.

Scholarly Research Article
These articles, written by scientists and researchers, record the results of one experiment or one study. The article will often have the same structure as a lab repport:

Worried that you might be reading a trade article from a scholarly article, or a review article from a scientific research article?

Start by looking for the distinctive markers of a scholarly article: are the authors' degrees or university affiliations listed? Do you see an abstract? How about charts, tables, graphs?

Once you are certain that you are looking at a scholarly article, make certain that your article is a scientific research article, by looking for the following distinctive sections:

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Method
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion
  • References or Works Cited

Some of these sections may be merged with other sections, have slightly different names, or may not be labeled, but all should be present in one way or another.

Confused? Take a look at page one of a scholarly article below:

Notice the following:

  1. The authors list a university affiliation
  2. The abstract is right in the center of the page
  3. The introduction

Want to take a closer look? Projecting the impacts of rising seawater... is a research article found on PubMedCentral, the government-sponsored free article database. You can use this as a model scholarly research article.

Having Trouble Reading Your Article?

  • Check out this handy guide to reading scholarly articles.
  • Remember that you can use reference databases to explain words or concepts that you're unfamiliar with. Try searching Credo or Gale to start.

Scholarly Review Article
Review articles are summary articles: written by scientistis/researchers, the authors try to summarize the state of research on a particular topic. They'll discuss what we know, and questions that remain to be answered. Review articles should have some of the same elements as research articles: the authors will have scholarly affiliations, abstracts, and a long list of citations at the end.

Want to see a sample review article? Take a look at Transgenerational acclimation of fishes to climate change and ocean acidification, again in Pub Med Central.

Good Journals with Popular Appeal:

Struggling to find readable articles on your topic? The following journals tend to have a wide appeal:

Evaluating Websites

While you're doing Google searches to either narrow your topic or in order to dig up more information on climate change, you want to be careful to decide if the information you find is trustworthy.

When it comes to climate change, nearly everyone has opinions: should we be be using a "cap and trade" system to limit carbon dioxide emissions? What will climate change do to the global ice caps, and how will that affect our future?

Your job is to evaluate the information you can find through Google and Bing to find the good websites--those written by authors you can trust, with good and up-to-date information. Begin by asking yourself the following questions:

Authorship: Who created this website? What is their background on the topic? Are they trustworthy?

Bias: Why was the website created? What point of view does the author have? Does that limit the facts they present or how the facts are presented?

Date: How old is the information that is presented? Is it still accurate?

Questions? Check out the COD Library's guide to evaluating information.

Class Exercise

Take a moment to look at your website. Is this information trustworthy? How do you know? Be prepared to tell your classmates your opinion.

The Crushing Cost of Climate Change
Cutting Short-Lived Climate Pollutants
US 'Climate Hubs' to Save Farms from Extreme Weather
Hot Air on Climate Change


You've been asked to model your citations on those in Bioscience, a journal the library has online. Browse through a current issue to get examples of citations.

Still not sure? You can also check the library citation guide.

Finally, you are welcome to use NoodleBib if you'd like to use a program to create and organize your citations. You must "Create a New Folder" when you use NoodleBIB for the first time. Click on "I am citing a(n):," choose the type of item you are citing, and then fill in the online form. Your bibliography will be formatted for you.

Further questions about APA style? Check out the APA Style Blog, which includes sample papers.