This guide is to assist students in ENGL 101 with finding resources for their research papers. (Last updated: March 2020).
Lefty the Leopard, the library's unofficial mascot, perches proudly on the bookshelves beside the library's staircase to the second floor. He changes costumes depending on the season and he watches over our collection of vinyl LPs, our ever-changing display of books on a special theme, and our Newly Acquired Books shelf. Say hello to Lefty next time you're in the library. He's guaranteed to wave back.
Steps to research success!
1. Read your assignment carefully. Identify guidelines, required length, and the types of information sources allowed.
2. Pick an appropriate topic that meets the requirements identified in your assignment instructions. It should interest you, be broad enough that you can find enough information on the subject, and be focused enough that you are not overwhelmed with too much information.
3. Gather background information and refine your topic. Popular sources you find on the "open web" (e.g. through Google or Wikipedia) are most likely not sources you'd want to use in your paper, but they might provide basic information and introduce you to ideas or aspects of a subject that you hadn't considered. They might also offer suggestions of keywords to use in a more thorough search of scholarly materials. Try doing a simple search for articles and books using the "Search Everything" tab on the library's home page. The sources you find there might help you narrow your focus and better define the question you're most interested in researching and writing about. Choosing and refining your topic is an important part of the research process.
4. Gather sources - use the tabs along the top of this guide to help you structure your search and find a range of credible resources.
5. Correctly cite these sources in the citation format approved by your instructor and compile the information needed to create a bibliography, references, or works cited page. Check out the Citations tab for help.