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Religion: Social Issues Paper (9th)

Resources for Religion and Theology

Note on Passwords

PASSWORDS for using Databases from Home are on a Google Doc.

...are in a Google Doc Click Here for Library Database Passwords. You will need to be logged in to your CCHS email/google account to access the passwords.

You will use two groups of Library Subscription Research Databases for this paper.  One is SIRS from the ProQuest company,  the others are   Opposing Viewpoints in Context and  Global Issues in Context from GALE.  For your paper you will need to use both databases to discover information and find articles.

We will talk about databases in class, And why we have multiple different databases. 

For comparison, here's the same article from two different databases. 

What features are the same and which are different?

EXAMPLE Article:  "Does Aid Help?" by Harriet Sergeant published in 2018 in The Spectator ,  a weekly magazine published in London.

Research Databases for Service Project

SIRS Issues Researcher Logo

Tips for Researching with SIRS

  • "See Related / Related Subjects"
  • "Source Type" matters
  • Save to Drive
  • Citation help

GALE Databases for Service Research

GALE Resources for Current Events and Issues

These are additional Databases that contain articles/information on current issues. Much like Netflix and Hulu are both similar services (streaming TV + movies) with different content, different database companies have similar products that may host different content sources.

Tips for Researching with GALE

  • Viewpoints - Essays and Pages
  • Advanced Search - Keyword vs Subject
  • "Explore / More Like This / Related Subjects"
  • "Source Type" matters
  • Save to Drive & Citations


Your teacher may require some reference to the service you performed as part of your service requirement.  Here are some things to remember.

Reminder: Search for what your service was About (i.e. the problem or issue your service organization is trying to address  or the community it is trying to serve),  not for where you did it or what kind of service you did.

For example, service bagging potatoes at the Oregon Food Bank could be about helping address "Food Insecurity"/ "Hunger" / "Waste" / "Poverty", depending on what is most interesting to you.

Catholic Social Teaching

Your teacher may require references to relevant Catholic Social Teaching in your paper. Here are some resources.

A Note About Citations

You Need to Cite Your Sources

For a 9th-grader in a non-English-class setting here's what you need to know:

We are not looking for you to  have perfectly formatted citations, but an attempt to follow MLA 8th Edition style is required. You can find information on MLA format on the "Citations & Plagiarism" tab on this guide.

We are looking for the Existence of a complete citation and the Effort to follow the format.  A URL (website Link) by itself is NOT A CITATION.

1. WHAT  is a Complete Citation?  A citation consists of two parts:

1) a clear reference in your paper, usually in parentheses, that points your reader to

2) an entry, in a specific format, in a list of "Works Cited" . 

Without both things, you haven't cited a source.


             (if your work says)

Blah blah blah blah blah said, "blither blather blother bother" (Franklin).

             (your  "Works Cited" would have an entry like)

Franklin, Tank. "The Blather of Bother." BlitherBlather, 10 Mar. 2023,      



2. WHEN do you need a Complete Citation?  Any time you use the Words or Ideas  (quoting or paraphrasing) from a source other than your own thoughts or personal experiences, you need to make a Complete Citation for where those words or ideas came from.  If you learned an idea from somewhere other than your own brain, then you cite it. 

example 1:  none of you were born with the knowledge of how many people are Homeless in Portland, or the US, or the world, therefore you need to cite a source for that statistic.

example 2:  you may have a personal idea or thought about what "Poverty" means,  but there may be specific, more official, definitions. It would be better to quote those definitions and cite the source.

If you use a  source from one of our databases, and you use the citation that they provide, that's good enough for this assignment. But they are not perfect:, and in the future you'll need to know how to fix them  See Below for more explanation

Why do We Cite Sources?

1. Service:  Citation is a service to your reader it is an act for others. (Generosity, Kindness)

2. Respect: Citation gives Credit to creators.  (Respect, Humility)

3. Authority: Citation makes you look good. (Integrity, Conscientiousness)

4. Self-Defense: Citation protects you against bad things, like Plagiarism and helps identify Misinformation. (Honesty, Responsibility

MLA: A Tale of Two Citations

One bonus of Library databases is that they offer preformatted citations in MLA 8th/9th edition format (and other formats).

MLA 8th edition citations and MLA 9th edition citations are nearly identical.  For 9th graders either are acceptable.

These Pre-formatted citations are meant to be used as a guide, as they are rarely perfect, and are not meant to replace the need to understand how to read and create citations.  

Here is an example of a preformatted "MLA 8th Edition"  citation for an article from SIRS Issues Researcher:

Sergeant, Harriet. "Does Aid Help? Or does it Harm?" The Spectator (London), 17 Feb 2018. sirsissuesresearcher,


Here's a Citation for the same article from GALE Opposing Viewpoints:

Sergeant, Harriet. "Does aid help? The evidence suggests it may do more harm than good." Spectator, vol. 336, no. 9886, 17 Feb. 2018, p. 12+. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints, Accessed 6 Mar. 2020.


Both citations are "Pretty Good" citations, but neither one is totally correct.

 Let's take a look.  RED will mean things that are wrong, YELLOW will be things that we may consider changing, and GREEN are things that one database's citation has that the other one is missing.

The SIRS citation:

Sergeant, Harriet. "Does Aid Help? Or does it Harm?" The Spectator (London), 17 Feb 2018. sirsissuesresearcher,

Note that this resource on SIRS changes the title of the Article, because the database is treating it as a reprint.

The GALE citation:

Sergeant, Harriet. "Does aid help? The evidence suggests it may do more harm than good." Spectator, vol. 336, no. 9886, 17 Feb. 2018, p. 12+. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints, Accessed 6 Mar. 2020.

  • The First Letters  of almost all words in titles are capitalized (with the exception of articles, prepositions, coordinating conjunctions and "to" with infinitives).
    • NOTE: many pre-formatted citations don't automatically get the correct capitalization of titles. It's will be your job to check.
  • The abbreviations  of months like "Feb" should have a period.
  • The "https://" in a URL (web address) is no longer included.
  • The source title for a Newspaper only needs to include the name of the city if it is relevant.
  • The name of the SIRS database  (the second "container") would be better if written out as SIRS Issues Researcher.
  • the URL is generally not supposed to be an active hyperlink, not supposed to be blue, and not supposed to be underlined.
    •  Also, the URL  is generally supposed to be a more direct URL to the article, not just the site. 
  • The GALE citation has more information that make the Citation more useful
    • it has the Volume and Number information for the original newspaper issue, as well as the Page Number of the original Article.
    • it has a Date of Access that tells your reader/teacher when you looked a digital source. This is only required for digital sources.

Here's  Improved Versions of the Citation.

Sergeant, Harriet. "Does Aid Help? Or Does It Harm?" The Spectator (London), 17 Feb. 2018. SIRS Issues Researcher, Accessed 6 Mar. 2020.

Sergeant, Harriet. "Does Aid Help? The Evidence Suggests It May Do More Harm than Good." Spectator, vol. 336, no. 9886, 17 Feb. 2018, p. 12+. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints, Accessed 6 Mar. 2020.

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