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ENGL 1302 -- Dr. Wahhaj

The purpose of this research guide is to help students find quality sources of information for their annotated bibliography and research paper assignments.

Developing a Topic

What Is Your Topic?

What topic would you like to explore and write about? Read and follow Dr. Wahhaj's instructions carefully. Consider following the advice in this video to make a topic triangle. Doing so can help you find a specific approach to your exploration and research. While doing so, you might ask yourself:

  • Who is affected by this issue?
  • What policies have been proposed for this issue?
  • What locations are impacted by this issue?



Your topic triangle can help you develop keywords, which you can use as search terms in the library's databases and other news sources. If, for example, you would like to write about climate change, your keywords could include alternate terms for the same or related concepts, such as:

  • global warming
  • environmental damage.

You could also develop keywords for a specific aspect of your topic, such as:

  • global warming and alternate energy
  • climate change and war
  • climate change and fishing

Introduction to Databases

Database Basics

Some of the sources that you will use for this project will be in the library's databases. If you're searching the databases off campus, then I suggest that you first watch this video. It will teach you how to access the databases while off campus.

Database: US Major Dailies

Dr. Wahhaj would like for you to use major news sources for your research. An excellent source for this is the database US Major Dailies. Is provides you with access to the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, and the Washington Post. This video shows you how to search it. There is a link to the database below.

Additional News Sources

Here are some additional news sources that Dr. Wahhaj will consider for your bibliography and research paper. Some of these are from library databases and others are on the open World Wide Web.


You must cite your sources in the MLA style. This video explains how do to so.

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