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8th Grade Research Paper: Books

Using Books

All of you will need to find good books with information on your topics. Fortunately for you, our library is always looking for titles that would be helpful for the 8th grade term paper, and you should be able to find something. You may search directly with the catalog window on the middle of this page, but please take a moment to check out the tips on either side of the page - they may help you.

You should start by looking for good reference books which contain lots of short informative articles, then moving on to monographs (single books on a single topic), which will explore your topic in more depth. Books are probably not going to provide your most up-to-date information in your paper - that is something you will find in periodical articles.

If you can't find a specific book on the shelf and you think it should be there, PLEASE ask a librarian for help. Also, don't forget that the Gale Opposing Viewpoints database does contain content from books, in the sections marked "viewpoints" and "reference".

Useful Search Tips!

Even though your specific topics differ, you may find that there are some general search terms that will help you find good things. REMEMBER! A search in the Follett online catalog is much more specific than out on Google, so a search that may not work on Google might work well in Follett.

  • Try the word "issues" or "controversies" in your search
  • Try the word "bioethics", if your topic is related to science or medicine
  • Try the word "drugs" for drug testing, legalization, or other issues (see, that would be a horrible search on Google!)
  • Try the word "doping" for drug testing on athletes
  • Don't forget that "death penalty" and "capital punishment" are synonyms
  • Try LGBTQ, gay, homosexual, same sex for all those related topics

Catalog Search


Search Titles Search Authors Search Subjects Search Keywords Search Series


  1. Students may check out up to three books at a time for term paper, and keep those books for one week. We use this custom circulation to ensure that there are enough resources for all of the students and to encourage you to get the information you need from books as soon as possible.
  2. PLEASE DO NOT RESHELVE BOOKS YOU USE IN THE LIBRARY! We appreciate your help, but it is easier for us to make sure all books are returned to their correct location in the stacks. When you have finished with a book that you are not going to check out, please place it in the return slot at the circulation desk.
  3. Ask for help using the photocopier or scanner - we encourage digital copies over print. Save the trees!

Reference v. Regular

Start your research by looking for reference books with brief, background information about your topic. In a catalog search, you can limit your results to Reference books, and make your search as broad as possible, looking for the umbrella term for your topic. Here are some great sets to search by title:

  1. Battleground: Government and Politics
  2. Current Issues
  3. Social Issues in America