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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

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.

Podcast Recordings

Dr. Martin and Prof. Puller used to operate a podcast called Hurricane Radio for ENGL 1302 and 1301 classes. Here is an archive of these podcast episodes.

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