HPRS 2300: Pharmacology for Office Personnel - LSC-Kingwood

 Photo of Medications



The best research assignments are ones that use a variety of resources including books, newspaper and journal articles, and Internet sites. We encourage you to use all of these sources for this paper. We hope you will take full advantage of the many resources our libraries offer.

If you have questions about the research and construction of the paper, post your questions in the discussion list in your LSC-Online class or send in-class email to your e-Librarian, Jimmi Rushing. You may also contact any of the Lone Star College-Kingwood Librarians. Write to instructor Raquel Wright using your LSC-Online e-mail with any questions about topic selection or other course questions you may have. She will refer research and formatting questions to your e-Librarian.


Report instructions:

Once your idea has been approved, you will then post it in the “Project Idea” section on the Discussion Board.

1. Topics are on a first come/first serve basis, although I will consider different angles on the same topic. This is one of the reasons as to why your idea is to be posted where everyone can see it.
2. Submit an outline on your topic using the order below.  This must be a detailed outline and include your references.  See the class calendar for submission date.  Submit the outline in the “Final Outline Dropbox” under the lessons tab in the Project section of the course.

  • Thesis statement
  • Arguments for from at least 3 different sources.
  • Arguments against from at least 3 different sources.
  • Include 1-2 online library references for each.
  • Personal conclusion & why
  • Works cited (Please use MLA style)

3. The project paper should include and can be basically formatted in the following order:

  • Thesis statement
  • Arguments for from at least 3 different sources.
  • Arguments against from at least 3 different sources.
  • Include 1-2 online library references for each.
  • Personal conclusion & why
  • Works cited (Please use MLA style)

4. Choose a side and back it up with your references. Use at least 6 references for your report (see above). You can certainly use more references, but 6 is the minimum. This is an "issue driven" assignment. Based on your research, you are to decide whether or not the evidence backs up your thesis. To do this properly, you need credible evidence from places that have researched these issues, which is why you are to use the online library resources.

5. Spelling matters, as well as good sentence structure. Take advantage of the free help sources listed in the Support section of this page.

6. Submit the paper in the “Final Project Dropbox” under the lessons tab in the Project section of the course.

Formatting your works cited (sources):

I prefer that you use MS WORD to type your works cited, but if you have MS WORKS, make sure that you save your work in the rich text format (rtf.). You will be using the MLA report style for the works cited for your project. See our examples.

Using MS Word 2007? Find out how MS Word helps you with MLA formatted papers. Update: Most LSCS public computers now have MS Word 2010. This feature is also in MS Word 2010.

Ask a librarian if you need help or contact your e-Librarian, Jimmi Rushing.


Thesis statement: What is it you are trying to prove?

Arguments For: You can use bullets or numbers.

Arguments Against: You can use bullets or numbers.

Conclusion: Did the evidence support your thesis and why?


Thesis: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Arguments For:

1. Xxxxxxx

2. Xxxxxxxx

3. Xxxxxxxxx

Arguments Against:

1. Xxxxxxxxxx

2. Xxxxxxxxxx

3. Xxxxxxxxxx

Conclusion: Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Works cited: Follow provided examples of setting up resources in MLA style which will then be submitted through the Project Dropbox in Assignments.

Choosing a topic:

Decide on a current issue related to pharmacology and choose a side to discuss in your paper. If you are unsure of a topic, please discuss your ideas with your instructor. Here are several possible topics suggested by your instructor:
  • Does the FDA spend too much (or not enough) time in the drug approval process?
  • Should there be more widespread volunteer test programs to help speed up the approval process?
  • Are there too many (or not enough) children being required to be medicated in order to attend school?
  • Should children be required to be vaccinated to attend school?
  • Should marijuana be legalized for medical purposes?
  • Should there be limits on litigation when a drug is pulled off the market?
  • Are there ways to bring down the cost of medications to make them more affordable and available to those who need them?

Additional current pharmacology topic ideas include the following: clinical trials, inspection of new drugs, medical ethics topics, controversial drugs (such as Prozac, Vioxx, or ephedra), antibiotic resistance, vaccine production issues related to the Swine Flu (H1N1 virus) threat, the ADHD medication controversy, or the monitoring of alternative medicines, herbs, or supplements.

You are free to choose a topic not listed here, but it must be approved by your instructor.

Librarian Talk about Getting Started:

As you begin, narrow your topic to a size that you can manage for the paper. Consider keywords that will help you find the information you need. These can be names of people, events, or broader identifying terms. Use these keywords for locating information in the library catalog, electronic databases, and on the internet.

Sample Keywords: clinical trials, drug research, drug safety, herbs, prozac, marijuana, ephedra, alternative medicine, FDA (Food & Drug Administration)

More about Choosing Keywords (30 sec.)


Librarian Talk about Books

Get a library card by submitting an online request to get a card through the mail or get a photo ID from any Lone Star College library. It takes about a week to get a card through the mail. If you need your barcode number, complete the form and then call our circulation desk at 281-312-1691 in about 30 minutes during library hours. They can verify your identity and give you a barcode number over the phone.

Use the barcode number from your library card or Lone Star College ID to request a book and to access the databases from home.

The catalog is online at Lone Star College-Kingwood Library Catalog.

Electronic books or E-books are available in the Ebook Collection. Login with your library barcode number. Create a free account in EBSCO's Ebook to save favorite book titles and notes.

More about finding books (31 sec.)

Here is a small sampling of related books and call numbers available from the Lone Star College-Kingwood Library. Find these and other information sources by searching the library catalog using your selected keywords. Books can be requested from the other college libraries by placing a Request, which takes just a few days, or try your local public library as well. From the library catalog record for each book, click on the subject links to find more books on the same topics.

RA401.A3 E25 2005 - Eban, K. (2005). Dangerous doses : how counterfeiters are contaminating America's drug supply. Orlando: Harcourt.
RM263 .D44 2006 - DeGrandpre, R. (2006). The Cult of Pharmacology: how America became the world's most troubled drug culture. Durham: Duke University Press.
HD9665.A94 - Avorn, J. (2004). Powerful medicines: The benefits, risks, and costs of prescription drugs. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
BF671.A56 - Carroll, M. E. & Overmier, J. B. (2001). Animal research and human health: Advancing human welfare through behavioral science. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.
HD9666.5.A74 - Marica, A. (2004). The truth about the drug companies: How they deceive us and what to do about it. New York: Random House.
RM332.B37 - Barondes, S. H. (2003). Better than Prozac: Creating the next generation of psychiatric drugs. New York: Oxford University Press
RM 666.A493 R37 - On Speed - The Many Lives of Amphetamine. (2008)
HD9666.5.P415 - Petersen, M. (2008). Our daily meds: how the pharmaceutical companies transformed themselves into slick marketing machines and hooked the nation on prescription drugs. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Librarian Talk... about Finding Journal and Newspaper Articles

Electronic databases are purchased by the libraries for your research use. To find articles in newspapers and journals, letters, reference books, illustrations, photographs and more, use your updated library card to log in to the following databases. If you find an interesting article that is not full-text, you may request it through interlibrary loan (I.L.L.). Contact the librarian if you need help getting an article. There is some overlap of articles in the databases, but all are excellent sources of information for research. We encourage you to use more than one.

HINT: Choose an appropriate database from the Subject Guide to databases or select from our alphabetical list of databases. Use the barcode number from your Lone Star College ID or library card to log in to any of our databases from off-campus.             

When searching the databases, remember to select "full text" or "Articles with text" to limit your search. Choose HTML or PDF versions to view full text. You may want to limit your articles to those that are scholarly/peer-reviewed.

More about searching databases (25 sec.)

Choose from the following databases. You do not need to search them all; be selective and choose the databases that may best suit your topic.

General Databases

Health & Medical Databases

  • Alt HealthWatch - For a different perspective on herbal and nutritional supplements and alternative treatments, try this database which includes full-text research journals, pamplets, reports, proceedings and consumer health newsletters. If you have trouble finding enough articles, try clicking on the link to "Subjects." Search your term and retrieve a list of alternative subject terms.
  • Consumer Health Complete - Features an emphasis on topics of consumer interests and easy-to-search format. Select "Medications" under the Topics list on the homepage. Enter your search terms (liability, testing, etc.) to search for articles on your specific interest area. Click on the "Alternative Health Source" to find articles written from different perspective.
  • Health Reference Center Academic - Includes articles from medical and healthcare journals, reference books, and dictionary definitions. After performing your search, use the specific subjects provided to narrow your search.
  • Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition - An excellent source for scholarly journal articles, with an emphasis on nursing, this database also includes the Lexi-PAL Drug Guide, which provides access to 1,300 drug monographs. For articles from popular consumer magazines, books and pamplets, search Health Source: Consumer Edition.
  • PubMed Central - From the Library of Medicine, this resource links to articles from government agencies and hospital and health organizations. All articles are full-text and free. Include images.

Current Issues Databases

  • Opposing Viewpoints - Includes articles on both sides of current issues. Select from the listed topics, such as marijuana, mental health, narcotics legalization, or others; or use search box with your own keywords (such as the name of a drug) to pull up articles. 
  • Issues & Controversies on File - Search this database of articles related to current issues.
  • CQ Researcher - Find reports on several drug topics by going to Browse by Topic and choosing from the alphabetical list of topics, such as Drugs and Pharmaceutical Industry, Vaccines, Alternative Medicine, or others. You can also do a subject search for your topic.

Business Database

  • Business Source Complete - You may want to research drug companies, such as to learn the financial impact of drug recalls or other issues. Provides full text for over 3,500 scholarly business journals and is updated daily.


Librarian Talk... about the Internet

The internet is a wonderful source of original documents. Remember to find reputable sites. Use the following criteria to evaluate web sites: 

  • Accuracy - The information should be researched and show proof of that research with references.
  • Source - Look at the domain; valid research sources include the following:
    .edu    .gov    .org   .net 
  • Authority - What are the author's credentials?
  • Coverage - Does the page have the information you need for your research? 
  • Objectivity - Be aware of bias. Offer both sides of issues, where applicable.
  • Currency - Is the information recent? Look for the date of publication.

For help in evaluating specific internet resources use this Evaluating Information Checklist.

More about finding internet sources (25 sec.)

Be selective and choose from these or other web sites that best suit your topic.
  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - Information about clinical trials, human research subjects, new drug development and pre-clinical testing, drug recalls, research regulations, institutional review boards, drug labeling, and more. See sections on information for consumers and also for healthcare professionals. 
  • Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) - This organization is part of the FDA. Find statements the FDA has made about specific drugs, general drug information, regulation information, and much more.
  • ClinicalTrials.gov - Government database of clinical research studies across the U.S. Under the Resource area, see Understanding Clinical Trials for general information about participants, protocols, informed consent, benefits and risks, and more.
  • MEDLINEplus - Highly Recommended. 
    • Choose Health Topics to find information on topics such as Drugs, Over-the-Counter Drugs, Drug and Medical Device Safety,  Depression, Teen Mental Health, Child Mental Health, ADHD, Alternative Medicine, Herbal Medicine, and others. Each topic has current health news articles, statistics, and links to related organizations and web sites. 
    • Choose Drug Information to search for prescription and over-the-counter drugs by generic or trade name.
  • WebMD - Search the news archives, diseases, drugs and herbs, clinical trials, and the Medical Library for reliable information.
  • Aetna InteliHealth - Featuring Harvard Medical Schools Consumer health Information. Under Healthy Lifestyles, choose Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Also link to the Virtual Herb Garden from this page under Interactive Tools for research information about various herbs.


Librarian Talk about Support

Support for a successful paper is more than finding the right resources. Putting it all together takes time and effort. Consider using the following list of resources.

More about getting help (25 sec.)

Works Cited: MLA Style | LSC-Kingwood Library Guide with basic paper formatting guidelines and examples of Works Cited entries. Find out how MS Word helps you with MLA formatted papers.

Avoiding Plagiarism | Excellent information and guide on how to avoid plagiarism from the Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University. OWL also includes instructions and examples for creating outlines and for MLA formatted papers.

Learning Center
| Check our hours for help with writing outlines and papers.

Research questions?  E-mail your E-Librarian, Jimmi Rushing. You may also contact any reference librarian for help.

Contact your instructor, Raquel Wright, for further questions about your assignment.

Page created by Carolyn Harty, 02/09, rev.01/2013, jfr
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