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ENGL 1302 -- Dr. Wright

The purpose of this research guide is to help students in Dr. Allison Wright's ENGL 1302 class to find information for their annotated bibliography assignments.

Developing Keywords

What Are Your Keywords?

Once you have selected a topic, it's time to compose keywords. These are search terms that you will use when seeking information about your topic. For example, if you are looking at the challenges of first generation college students, you could use these keywords:

  • first generation college students
  • first generation college students and community college
  • first generation college students and Texas

Or, if your topic is the connection between family and college success, you could use:

  • college students and success and family
  • college students and success and family and community college

Or, if your topic is the relationship between cell phones and attention span related to academic success in college:

  • cell phones and attention span and teenagers
  • cell phones and attention span and school
  • cell phones and attention span and college

If your topic is about choosing a college major that suits your goals, try:

  • college students and majors
  • college students and majors and careers

If your topic is the relationship between procrastination and perfectionism, try:

  • procrastination and perfectionism

If you are writing about college students and the stigma of mental health care, try:

  • community college students and mental health and stigma

Whatever your topic is, I suggest actually writing down your keywords. The process of writing your topic will make it more concrete and thus easier to research.

Articles from Databases

Database Basics

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 These 4 Databases

Search the four databases listed below to find scholarly journal articles published within the past three 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 four databases. All three of these databases are structured the same way, so the tutorial video applies to all of them.

Lone Star College Information Sources

Find Information from Lone Star College

Many of your research topics require information sources from Lone Star College itself, which provides a lot of data about students.

LSC Data & Statistics

LSC Resources for Students

US Census Information

Find Information from the US Census

The US Bureau of the Census collects and disseminates a lot of demographic information about people in the United States. Explore these sites if you would like demographic information about an area, such as a city, a ZIP code, or a census tract.

US Department of Labor Information

Find Information from the US Department of Labor

How healthy is the economy of the Houston area? How does it affect residents like you? Consider your experiences in relation to these economic statistics from the US Department of Labor

Texas State Health Information

Find Health Information from the State Government of Texas

The government of the State of Texas offers many useful sets of data about residents and describes services available to them.

Texas State Education Information

Find Education Information from the State Government of Texas

The government of the State of Texas collects information about educational services in the state.

City of Houston Health Information and Services

Find Health Information from the City Government of Houston

The government of the City of Houston offers many useful sets of data about residents and describes services available to them.

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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