Finding Sources

The Frances Willson Thompson Library
Research Web Sites

The Frances Willson Thompson Library

The very best place to find reliable sources is the University's Francis Willson Thompson Library. Don't live nearby? No problem! Students have the ability to access many of the library's resources through the library web site. From the library home page, one can use the Summon search bar (much like Google, but better!) to search for books, journal indexes, and e-books. The library page also allows you to access reserve materials, citation programs, links to other libraries, a find help with research page, and much, much more useful and essential information.

Remember that all students may use and check out any resources in the Frances Willson Thompson Library and the library in Ann Arbor for free! Remember, the Internet is a wonderful tool, but does not take the place of the real thing.

The university's library building is named after Frances Willson Thompson (1895-1988), long-time benefactor of the University of Michigan-Flint and great-granddaughter of Henry Howland Crapo (1804-1869), industrialist, mayor of Flint (1860-1862), state senator (1862-1864) and governor of Michigan (1864-1869).


Library Databases

The databases are a tool that lets you search for journal and periodical articles, some of which are full text. For a complete list of the databases available at the Thompson Library, go to


Thompson Library Links

Selecting a Research Topic

Research Topic Ideas

Research Guides by Subject

Encyclopedia Brittanica

NOTE: The Encyclopedia Brittanica is good for “get stated” info but encyclopedias and dictionaries are too general to use as sources for college papers.

TIP: When reading about your topic in Brittanica, notice the sources at the end of the article. Those are the sources you want to use for your research.

Research Web Sites

The following is a list of websites that will help with the research and writing of a paper.  When doing research on the Internet, students should be aware that there is both good and bad information because almost anyone can put a site on the Internet.  Because websites are always changing, the University of Michigan-Flint and/or the English Department cannot be held responsible for all links included in the sites listed below. 

Library of Congress
The official Library of Congress web site that includes historical photos, speeches (text and audio), maps, legislative information, research tools, and much more.

Smithsonian Institute
This is the official site for the Smithsonian in Washington DC.  It includes all museums in the Smithsonian, archives, the National Zoo (great photos) and more.

The Michigan Electronic Library
This site includes statewide library catalog and borrowing service, librarian-recommended websites, and databases (magazines, journals, newspapers, and more). NOTE: these databases are similar to UMF’s library but not nearly as complete; use this only if you can’t get to the UMF library databases.

The Library of Michigan
This site includes current and historical Michigan books and materials; State and federal government publications; State Law Library, one of the 10 largest genealogy collections in the country; consultation, support and information to librarians, library staff and trustees throughout the state; demographic, economic and social data.

State of Michigan
Everything you ever wanted to know about the State of Michigan, including government, road construction, tourism, and more!