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ENGL 1302 -- (Dr. Martin)

The purpose of this research guide is to provide information sources for Project 2 of Dr. Martin's ENGL 1302 course.


What Is Your Research Topic?

Your first step is to select a topic and then get approval for it from Dr. Martin.

Once you have done so, you should generate keywords. Keywords are search terms that you use when searching for information about your topic. The above video explains how you can write keywords. Watch it, then continue reading this section.

Condense your topic into just a few essential words. Let's say that you're writing about pedestrian walking on Victory Drive. Your keywords could be:

  • pedestrian and Victory Drive and Houston

This may prove too specific, though. Perhaps there are not articles about pedestrian traffic on Victory Drive. Let's search for the whole neighborhood:

  • pedestrian and Acres Homes

Is that still not enough? Let's expand the geographic reach of our topic:

  • pedestrian and northwest Houston

Alternatively, perhaps the term "pedestrian" does not help us. We could also try:

  • walking and Victory Drive and Houston
  • walking and Acres Homes
  • walking and northwest Houston

Searching will require you to experiment with different keywords used in different ways. Be flexible and persistent.

News Websites

Searching the Houston Chronicle

Database Basics

Now try searching the Houston Chronicle, which the North Harris Library provides through the database Newsbank.

Have you used the library databases before? If not, then I suggest first watching this introductory video.

How to Search the Houston Chronicle

Search the Houston Chronicle for information about your topic if your topic is about a geographically local community.

Unlike most other library databases, the Houston Chronicle is available to only North Harris students. Consequently, you will need to have a student library barcode that is specific to North Harris. Your MyLoneStar username and password will not give you access to the Chronicle.

If you are a North Harris student but don't have a library barcode number yet, you can get one by filling out this form. If you would like to make an appointment to get a physical ID card, then you can do so here.

The video embedded below shows you how to search the Houston Chronicle. The link to the database is below the video.

How to Search Academic Search Complete

How to Search Academic Search Complete

Perhaps you aren't writing about a geographically local community, such as Humble, but a non-geographically defined community, such as Sikh women. In that case, the database Academic Search Complete can help you find articles about the community for you to reflect upon.

The video embedded below shows you how to search this database. There is a link to the database below the video.

MLA Documentation

How to Cite Your Sources

You must cite your sources according to the MLA style of documentation.

This is our video that introduces MLA documentation. I urge you to watch the entire video carefully before starting to write your paper or annotated bibliography. It is much easier to cite correctly as you go along, rather than try to fix your documentation after you have written your paper.

This is our sample paper. When you're writing a paper, you can model the formatting of your paper after this one. If you are unsure how to set up the formatting in Microsoft Word so that it fits the requirements for MLA formatting, you could instead download this blank Word document that has the formatting already set up for you.

This is our 2-page handout that summarizes the MLA style. It includes most of the types of sources that students commonly use.

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