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ENGL 1301 -- TED Research Paper (Dr. Olson)

The purpose of this research guide is to help students find expert information sources for their TED Talks research papers.


What Are Your Keywords?

Once you have chosen a TED Talk and have Dr. Olson'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.

For example, let's say that you are writing about Jean-Manuel Izaret's proposal that medical services be priced according to a subscription model. The goal of Izaret's proposal is to make medical treatments more affordable. Izaret compares his model to Netflix.

What are some good keywords? Netflix is just an analogy, so it's not important. We can leave it out. The most important concepts in the topic are:

  • medical treatment
  • pricing
  • subscription

These should be your first search terms. You can also see if you can find criticism about Izaret's proposal. So try searching for:

  • Jean-Manuel Izaret
  • criticism
  • medical

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 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.

Search US Major Dailies

How to Search US Major Dailies

The next video shows you how to search US Major Dailies, which is a database of articles from several US national newspapers. Consider using this database to find current news about the topic that you are researching.

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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