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Homelessness in America

Get started with your research on homelessness in America

Start Learning About Your Topic

Background Reading

It's important to begin your research learning something about your subject; in fact, you won't be able to create a focused, manageable thesis unless you already know something about your topic.

This step is important so that you will:

  • Begin building your core knowledge about your topic
  • Be able to put your topic in context
  • Create research questions that drive your search for information
  • Create a list of search terms that will help you find relevant information
  • Know if the information you’re finding is relevant and useful

Useful Keywords

Use the words below to search for useful information in books including eBooks and articles at the MJC Library. 

  • homelessness
  • homeless persons
  • poverty
  • homeless women
  • homeless youth
  • homeless families
  • homeless children

Recommended Databases for Background Reading

All of these resources are free for MJC students, faculty, & staff. 

If you're working from off campus, you'll need to log in just like you do for your MJC email or Canvas courses.

Create Research Questions to Focus Your Topic

Homelessness is a complex issue caused by a variety of factors including economic factors, family relationships, mental illness, lack of affordable housing, drug abuse, and alcoholism. You could concentrate on one issue and do in-depth research on that or use several of the questions below to focus more generally on the topic of homelessness.

  • Is homelessness a serious problem in America?
  • Who are the homeless?
  • What special challenges do the homeless face?
  • What factors lead to homelessness?
  • What are the economic consequences to society of homelessness?
  • What laws exist to control homelessness?
  • Does the government have a responsibility to fight homelessness?
  • Are privatized solutions to homelessness feasible?
  • Can homelessness ever be ended?
  • What steps can be taken to fight homelessness?
  • Based on what I have learned from my research what do I think about the issue of homelessness in America?

Find Web Resources

Google Scholar Search

Use Google Scholar to search for academic information on the Web.

Browse Featured Web Sites

Using & Finding Books

Why Use Books:

Use books to read broad overviews and detailed discussions of your topic. You can also use books to find primary sources, which are often published together in collections.

Where Do I Find Books?

You'll use the library catalog to search for books, ebooks, articles, and more.

What if MJC Doesn't Have What I Need?

If you need materials (books, articles, recordings, videos, etc.) that you cannot find in the library catalog, use our interlibrary loan service.

Find Articles in Library Databases

All of these resources are free for MJC students, faculty, & staff.

If you're working from off campus, you'll need to sign in. Once you click on the name of a database, simply enter your student ID (without the W) and your six-digit birth date.

Cite Your Sources

Your teacher should have told you what style you should use.

Click on a citation style below to learn how to cite your sources and format your paper using that style.