This guide covers resources for researching notable court cases.
This guide has been designed to assist you with researching notable court cases. It includes links to sources for articles, books, ebooks, and reference information. Use this URL to get back to this page: https://libguides.ccac.edu/courtroom
Image by Chris Potter, CC-BY. Flickr: https://flic.kr/p/dvMZm5
Use the resources on this page to (a) identify a famous trial and (b) conduct research to gather more information about the trial for your presentation. The research tools listed below can help you find articles from sources like newspapers, magazines, and reference materials. See the in-class learning objectives.
Library Session Learning Objectives
After today, you should be able to:
Connect to and navigate the research guide
Setup/refresh NoodleTools account for MLA
Browse the Famous Trials site for a court case
Navigate several research databases to find articles
Includes reference content, periodicals and multimedia allowing users to search for people based on name, occupation, nationality, ethnicity, birth/death dates and places, or gender as well as keyword and full text. Show me how
Evaluating Sources Using SIFT
Ultimately, it's your responsibility to evaluate the quality of any information before using
it it a paper, presentation, or another project.
The steps of the SIFT model* described below can be used to help researchers identify key
elements to be on the lookout for when assessing a source. Check out the explanations and questions for each
section and start using them to evaluate sources such as books, articles, and websites.
Before using or sharing a source (website, article, book, etc.), do a quick evaluation of it
to ensure it's legitimate and reliable.
Stop and examine a source before you decide to use it or share it.
Check out the SIFT steps
below to see what actions you can take.
information in a research project could cause complications or lead to a lesser grade.
information with others could reflect poorly on you.
Take a few minutes to quickly examine a source's author/publisher before using it to help
you avoid inaccurate or misleading information. Google and Wikipedia can be great tools for
this step. Next steps
Investigate the source to to assess its potential quality.
Identify the author and find out more about them. Basic internet searching can help
you to quickly determine if they have
training, education, or experience that would qualify them as an expert.
Does the author specialize
in the topic they are covering? Do they have a history of being reliable?
Do they work for a
reputable organization or are they a random, unknown person?
If the author appears to be a
controversial figure, deeper searching may be required to understand why.
Determine the purpose of any organization they are associated with. Again, basic
help you find out if it is a reputable business, university, non-profit, news publisher,
government agency, etc.
What is their mission?
Are they trying to sell products or services?
Are they trying to convince you on an
issue or encourage an action (e.g., to vote, to donate blood, etc.)
Is the organization's goal to inform reader, share news, or present research?
Find out where and who
published the information to help understand any possible bias or purpose of the
source. Was it published in:
A recognized academic journal?
A legitimate news organization?
A website of an issues-oriented organization like the NRA or MADD?
Find better coverage
Most topics are usually well-covered by multiple sources, which means you don't have to rely
on the first source that you find. A better quality source is likely available to confirm
any claims in any questionable sources you may have encountered. Next steps
Find additional sources to see what experts on the topic are saying
Find information from
better quality sources
that backup, verify, or refute any information you found.
Search reputable news
sources for articles as journalists regularly do fact-checking before publishing.
Use a library research
database to access higher quality sources that are often hidden behind paywalls
Use a reverse image search tool to verify the legitimacy of images whose origin is
unknown or questionable. Tineye and Google's search by image feature
are great starters.
Trace claims back to the original source
Information can be distorted or misinterpreted when it is shared outside of
its original context. If you encounter quotes, statistics, or other information that is
attributed to another source, finding the original source of that information will allow you
to verify its accuracy.
Locate the original source of any claims, research data, or quotes
Look for clues
such as names of quoted people or titles of journals where research was published and
use them to run searches to track down the original source.
engines to see if a copy of the original source can be found.
This citation management tool can help students generate precise citations and create properly-formatted bibliographies in MLA and APA styles. Students can create an unlimited number of projects to keep different research assignments separate and organized. Provided by NoodleTools. PDF Guide
Reference librarians are available at each campus library to help you take advantage of the broad array of
print and electronic resources available to you through the CCAC Libraries. For example, a librarian can
Select and focus a research topic.
Devise an effective research strategy.
Locate relevant books, articles, and other information sources.
Evaluate the quality of resources.
Use research tools such as the library catalog and our many periodical databases.
Obtain materials not available on-campus.
Cite and document resources using a style guide like MLA or APA.
Visit the reference desk at any of our library locations during regular business hours to get personalized research assistance. View our locations and hours to get started.
Chat with Us!
Chat with one of our librarians to get library and research help. Our chat service is typically available during regular business hours.
Make an Appointment
Schedule an online appointment with a librarian for a personalized research session. Select a date & time that works for you and we will schedule your Zoom session!
This comprehensive set of essays documents the most important criminal, civil, and political trials in the United States from colonial times to the present, examining their impact on both legal history and popular culture.