Eng163 Research Project: The Story of Stuff
Library Resources

Getting Started: Basic Product Info

Gale Virtual Reference Library

How Products Are Made. 9. vol print reference book available at Alameda County Main Library in Fremont, and other public libraries. Description from the publisher (description includes a few example articles, e.g.: Air freshener)

How Everyday Things Are Made - Web site from Stanford University covering manufacturing information for a small number of everyday products.

How Products are Made - Not connected to the reference book with the same name above. This web site may provide a general overview of the processes and materials involved in basic products. Authorship unclear. Review and verify information from this site.

Search the web for Trade, Industry, or Manufacturing Associations related to your product. These sites often have information about how their products are made. Of course, these sites have a manufacturer's bias and won't necessarily include the whole, unvarnished truth about how your product is made and issues of concern. You can get basic information and clues this way though!

Books, eBooks, Magazine and Newspaper Articles

Possible Sources of Information About Your Product


SIRS Knowledge Source (SKS)

Environment Complete

Sources of Information About Related, More General Issues (Planned Obsolescence, Regulation of Toxic Chemicals, Recycling/Waste, Child Labor)

All of the above (Gale Virtual Reference Library, HANS, SIRS, Environment Complete), plus:

CQ Researcher

Using and Evaluating Web Resources

It is always your job to think critically about the information you find, regardless of the source, but Web sources present a special challenge. Why?

Strategies for finding appropriate sites:

1.) Use information such as organization names or links to organization you may find in the articles you find in sources above.

2.) Rather than Google, use a smaller web directory to find sources suitable for academic research

3.) Google, of course, but critically EVALUATE what you find:

Give every website the Reliability Test:

Comprehensive Guide to Evaluating Web resources on LRC Website

Website Evaluation (Youtube video)


Any Questions?
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