This series of tutorials are useful for any new student preparing to start a research assignment.
First-Year Writing Students
The goals of the ENGL 101 library session is to learn to characteristics of library databases and basic skills for using database. You must perform preliminary steps - including preliminary research - before the session, to be adequately prepared to search for sources for your paper. If your instructor uses Blackboard, many of the following tutorials are in your Bb Learn course shell.
After viewing the tutorials, complete the Library Research Worksheet for your project 2 assignment. Print and bring the completed worksheet to your in-class library session.
From Assignment to Research Question
After viewing the tutorial, you will know how to:
- Choose a topic based on assignment requirements
- Conduct preliminary research to gather background information
- Search CREDO Reference for background information
- Search the library's online catalog for scholarly books
- Brainstorm your way to a research question
- Narrow a topic to match the scope of the research project
Why do I need to research BEFORE I research?
It is difficult to develop an interesting and complex research question on a topic without conducting preliminary research. Start with your own experiences and personal interests. BUT before you search for sources to actually cite in your paper, read background information on your topic. This will help you refine your focus and discover terminology researchers use to describe your topic.
Useful source formats for background information on a research topic:
- News articles
- Subject encyclopedias
- Scholarly monographs (books)
- College textbooks
- Course readings
For suggested databases and other resources for finding sources of background information, visit the English 101 Research Guide.
A couple of tips when you begin to explore a topic:
- Be open minded as you explore your topic; your research will likely take you in directions you were not expecting.
- Keep a research log to keep track of your ideas and your research - what you discover and how you found it.
More Research Skills 101 Tutorials
Get to the Know the Libraries
Content Editor: Nancy Bellafante
Last Updated: 01/31/2013