Your first step is for your group to select a topic and then get approval for it from Prof. Villanasco. Your topic should be, as the instructions in D2L describe, an answer to this question: "What ideas or patterns create difficulties for our first-year students in the transition from high school to college?” Prof. Villanasco has a long list of suggested topics that answer this question.
Once you have selected a topic and received approval for it from Prof. Villanasco, 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.
Remember that your topic is: “What ideas or patterns create difficulties for our first-year students in the transition from high school to college?" Condense your topic into just a few essential words. Here are a few examples:
The term "first-year college students" is often used in scholarly journal articles about, well, first-year college students. "College transition" is sometimes used, too. So I recommend making them a part of your keywords. You should also use a word or two about the issue concerning the first-year college student experience that you are researching.
Now that you have keywords, it's time to search the databases. Have you used the databases before? If you don't have recent experience with our library's databases, then I suggest watching this introductory video.
Search the three databases listed below to find scholarly journal articles published within the past five years about your topic. Make sure that you are limiting your search according to both of those requirements. You don't need newspaper articles published twenty years ago, but instead scholarly journal articles that reflect current research about college students' experiences.
The video embedded below shows you how to search Academic Search Complete, which is one of the three databases. All three of these databases are structured the same way, so the tutorial video applies to all of them.
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.