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ENGL 1302 -- Prof. Terney

The purpose of this research guide is to help students in Prof. Terney's ENGL 1302 class to find information sources for their research paper assignments and cite those sources correctly in the MLA style.

Developing a Topic

What Is Your Research Topic?

What, precisely, is your topic? Answering this question is part of the pre-writing phase of this assignment. I suggest that you watch the above video and write a topic triangle for your assignment. Once you have a topic triangle developed, write a research question. Actually write it down. The act of writing helps make vague ideas concrete. So take your time to develop your research topic.


What Are Your Keywords?

Once you have chosen a topic and have Prof. Terney's approval for that topic, the next step for you to take is to generate keywords. Keywords are the search terms that you will use to find information about your topic. This video explains how to compose keywords from your topic.

Take your time to carefully develop keywords for your research topic. Your research will be easier if you do so. Write them down.

Intro to Databases

Introduction to the Databases

It is now time to look for in-depth sources of information about your topic. For this purpose, we will use the library's databases. Have you used the library's databases before? If not, then I suggest watching this brief video tutorial before you proceed.


Search Issues & Controversies

Most of the topics that Prof. Terney proposes to you are controversial issues, such as gun control and universal health care. It's important to know what are the arguments on the different sides of a controversial topic. The database Issues & Controversies is an excellent tool for this purpose. Here's a video that shows you how to search it. Look down to find a link to the database itself.

Search Credo Reference

How to Search Credo Reference

Credo Reference is a database of reference books. It's a great place to begin many research tasks because the brief, concise articles in this database can teach you about your research topic before you explore more complex and detailed information sources about your topic. You can also use the articles in Credo Reference as sources of information for your research paper. The above video shows you how to search it.

Look down for a link to the database.

Search Academic Search Complete

How to Search Academic Search Complete

Another database that you should search is Academic Search Complete, which is a database of newspaper, magazine, and scholarly journal articles on many different subjects. The video above shows you how to search it. Look down for a link to the database.

MLA Documentation

How to Cite Your Sources in MLA

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. 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. 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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