Argument and Research

A guide for researching argument writing and speech assignments

Books & eBooks

Searching the Library Catalog

Once you've found general, background information on your topic, it's time to find more in-depth information. One way is to find books that you can check out at the TCC Library or e-books that you can read online. You can search the library catalog for books by doing a keyword search (e.g., "bilingual education" or "drug abuse") by clicking the link below.

Click the link below to search for books in the library catalog

Search tips:
  1. Type in your keywords in the search box and click the "Search" button
  2. Take note of the format of the results. You can narrow down to print books or e-books by clicking one of the boxes.
  3. Take note of the publication date range. You can narrow down results to a specific data range.
  4. Click the title of the book for more detailed info
  5. Take note of the format of the book. An e-book will have an "E" icon; a print book will have a book icon.
  6. If it's an e-book, then you can click the "Electronic access" link to read the book online.
  7. You can also text any book record to yourself.

(click on image to enlarge)

Screenshot of library catalog search for language AND identity

Search in eBook Databases Directly

You can also try a search inside any of the following databases to locate ebooks in the library's collection.

Why Use Books?

Books can give you the in-depth analysis of your topic

Books can do the following:
  • They can get you a historical perspective on your topic to see how it has evolved over time
  • They are often written by authors who are experts or have taken the time to do research on a particular subject
  • They can help you understand the complexity your topic
When you find a book remember the following:
  • You do not have to read the whole book! Instead look at the table of contents in the front to find which chapters will be most helpful to you
  • Look in the back of the book.  Often there is a list of sources that the author consulted when he or she wrote the book.  You might want to use these sources for your research, too!

Reading Call Numbers

To organize and location books, the TCC Library arranges books by Library of Congress ("LC") call numbers.

Here's an example of a call number in our library catalog:

(click on image to enlarge)

Example of call number in library catalog book record

For information on how to read Library of Congress call numbers, click below:

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Except where otherwise noted, the content in these guides by Tacoma Community College Library is licensed under CC BY SA 4.0.
This openly licensed content allows others to cite, share, or modify this content, with credit to TCC Library. When reusing or adapting this content, include this statement in the new document: This content was originally created by Tacoma Community College Library and shared with a CC BY SA 4.0 license.

Tacoma Community College Library - Building 7, 6501 South 19th Street, Tacoma, WA 98466 - P. 253.566.5087

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