Trouble Finding a Topic??

IC Library Print & Media Resources

Language, Society & Culture

Language and languages
Language and languages -- Origin
Language and languages -- Political aspects
Rhetoric -- Political aspects
Rhetoric -- Political aspects -- United States
Language and languages -- Psychology
Language and languages -- Religious aspects
Sociolinguistics -- United States
Language and culture
Language and culture -- United States
Intercultural communication​

Communication -- Social aspects
Communication -- Social aspects -- United States
English language -- Social aspects
English language -- Social aspects -- United States
Speech and social status -- United States
English language -- Political aspects
Language policy -- United States
Language and education -- United States
Linguistic minorities -- United States
Linguistic minorities -- Education -- United States
Mass media and language -- United States
Hate speech
Hate speech -- United States
Freedom of speech
Freedom of speech -- United States

English language -- Dialects -- United States
English language -- Variation -- United States
English language -- Spoken English -- United States

African Americans -- Language
African Americans -- Languages
Black English
Hispanic Americans -- Language
Immigrants -- United States -- Language
Racism in language
English language -- Study and teaching -- Foreign speakers
Bilingualism -- United States

Communication -- Sex differences
Language and languages -- Sex differences
English language -- Sex differences
Women -- Language
Men -- Language
Sexism in language
Sexism in language -- United States
Nonsexist language

Not in the IC Library??

     WorldCat via FirstSearch  is a "union catalog" that allows you to search the holdings of over 10,000 libraries from accross the country and around the world. Check WorldCat to discover what the entire universe of possible resources looks like for your topic. 
User Advisory:
  • Because this is such an enormous database you need to choose a "Limit Type to" before you begin. Most commonly you will be looking for "Books," "Visual Materials" (for example DVDs), or "Sound Recordings."
  • I recommend you avoid the "Author phrase," "Title phrase," and "Subject phrase" search fields and use "Author," "Title," or "Subject" instead. The "phrase" searches must be exact and are unforgiving.
  • If your topic is time-sensitive, try focusing on a recent time span under Year.
  • When you find an item you want you can request an interlibrary loan by opening the WorldCat record and clicking on "ILL (order via interlibrary loan)," which you'll find toward the top of the record under "External Resources." This will connect you to Ithaca College Library interlibrary loan, where you log in using your usual Netpass name and password. Logging in opens a form where all the identifying data will have automatically been transferred from the WorldCat record. All you have to do is click "Submit."

Contact Us

picture of Dr. Brian Saunders

Dr. Brian Saunders

Humanities Librarian
(607) 274-1198


Recommended Databases

Looking for a safe haven in a sea of possible resources? Try my

IC Writing Center

Tired of clicking?  Want to talk to a person about your paper?  Try the Department of Writing's Writing Center.

Reference Resources

Web Resources

Rhetoric & Composition

  • Bartleby.com Reference Collection: Full text access includes the American Heritage Dictionary, Roget's Thesaurus, the American Heritage Book of English Usage, The Columbia Guide to Standard English, Fowler's The King's English, and Mencken's The American Language.
  • Common Errors in English: Devoted to common mistakes in word usage, especially terms confused with one another. Scroll down the home page for alphabetical index.

Web Directories

     Web Directories differ from search engines like Google in that all the online resources have been selected and annotated by editors, thereby promising a much higher degree of quality control. 

Think Tanks & Research Institutes

Think Tanks & Research Institutes: A short collection of resources that can access these often influential contributions to public policy debate. 

Citation Help


MLA is the citation style used by most disciplines in the Humanities. The guides below use the latest 2008/9 standards.

Plagiarism & Paraphrase

     We hold this truth to be self-evident: copying sentences or paragraphs without placing them in quotation marks and citing the source is plagiarism.  But plagiarism can--and usually does--take other forms.  Even if you have altered a source by paraphrasing or sampling parts of it, it should be cited.  Even if you borrow an idea or line of argument but not the actual language, it should be cited.
     Paraphrase of a source should be used either for concision—giving a briefer version—or for translating ideas and information into your own voice.  But abbreviating a source and substituting some of your own words does not make you the author.
     Borrowed phrases should always be put in quotation marks and even individual words need to be quoted if they are key terms or constitute a specialized usage. 
     Less tangible borrowings--ideas and arguments--should be acknowledged with a citation at the end of the sentence, documenting the influence of a source in the absence of direct quotation.

     When in doubt—cite. Done properly, there is no downside to citation. It indicates that you have taken the trouble to research the topic, that you have the integrity to acknowledge your sources, and that you have the competence to cite them correctly. Further, it shows your ability to identify persuasive arguments or memorable language and then corroborate, refute, or enlarge upon them in your own terms.      This last point is essential: never use quotations as a substitute for your own thought. Always comment upon ideas you have found elsewhere. Even if what you cite is simply informational, you need to indicate why you think it is important, useful--or in need of refuting.