English or Writing 101
Researching in LexisNexis Academic
Quite possibly, your first encounter with LexisNexis Academic will occur during your freshman English or Writing course. Sometimes these are not only the courses that teach you new techniques, but those that introduce you to college paper-writing protocol. A Freshman English or Writing class is a requirement in most colleges or universities for this exact reason – to advance students’ research and writing skills from a high-school to university level.
Usually a graduated improvement on students’ writing is at the core of these freshman English/Writing courses. Often, at least one assignment is to write an opinionated essay. LexisNexis Academic will allow you to limit your search to opinion/editorial information. See News Search: Find An Editorial Or Opinion Piece for search techniques
Next is possibly a report on a current event or a local interest story. To gather local information from surrounding news sources, see Sources Tab: Search Newspapers By State or Sources Tab: Find Foreign Language News
Finding Supporting Statistics in LexisNexis Statistical
The freshman writing course is probably the hardest to provide research help for... because requirements vary from university to university. Some schools require a different English 101 class depending on one's major. Some classes require students to write about a current event, others about personal experiences, and others may want you to construct an argument and support it. Well, nothing can support an argument better than statistics.
LexisNexis™ Statistical provides fast and easy access to statistical information produced by U.S. Federal agencies, States, private organizations, and major intergovernmental organizations.
A good place to start is the "Search Tables" form within LexisNexis Statistical. And a good place to find ideas for papers (and to find more targeted search results) is to begin with the Subject List link to the right of the search form. You can view all the search terms alphabetically or you can search for a specific concept, like abortion. Another good place to start is to search the Subject List for "Opinion". This will bring back the "Opinion and attitude surveys" term, which you can paste to your search. But it also shows the related terms, which may spark some ideas (i.e. "Political attitudes and ideology" is a narrower term; this term could be pasted to your search).
Whether you are looking for ideas or know what you want to write about, statistics are a great way to support an argument or to provide an additional layer of analysis for a research paper, and LexisNexis Statistical is a great place to start to find exactly the tables you need for your paper.