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English & Communication

Selecting a Topic and Searching Library Collections

Getting Started

As you are embarking on your research assignment, the first step in the process is to decide on a topic, narrow it down, and identify good research questions. Consider picking a topic that has a connection to your personal life, culture, or your CMC major/program.

Multiple Sides of an Argument

As you are working on a persuasive paper or a speech, there is a temptation to focus primarily on your point of view. However, try to thoroughly research the other side as well. Furthermore, the reality is rarely black and white. There are usually multiple sides and solutions to any issue. Attempt to explore several different perspectives. These library databases will help you explore multiple pro and con perspectives for a given topic. 

Thesis statement

Remember that research is a cyclical process. It is perfectly acceptable to revise your topic or your research question as you progress through your research process. Make sure to do the bulk of your research before writing down your thesis statement. The thesis statement should reflect your research findings.

Searching Library Collections

  • Searching library collections & citing sources using EBSCO Discovery
  • Boolean Operators
    • post-traumatic stress disorder AND prevalence AND veterans
    • standardized testing AND high stakes test AND high school AND effect
    • "Colorado river" AND water management AND (policy OR law)
    • (vegan OR plant-based) AND (athletes OR sports) AND performance
    • (birth control OR contraception) AND parental consent AND (minors OR adolescents OR teens)
    • immunization AND schools AND policy NOT (COVID-19 OR coronavirus OR pandemic)

Evaluating Information

Evaluating Information

In today's world, finding information is not difficult. The challenge is to determine how credible and reliable it is. It is important to always approach information sources with a critical eye.

Peer-Reviewed Articles

Annotated Bibliography