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ENG 101 (Prof. Hayles): Research Paper


   Start Your Research Here: 
 

1 Topic & Research Question

Picking a topic & developing a research question

Suggested Topics: Refugees, Women in the Media, Stem-cell Research, Women's Reproductive Health, Social Justice, Climate Change.

How do I get started?

Do some preliminary searching in library databases to help you choose a topic and develop a research question. Engaging with sources early in your research process will help to jumpstart your research—by reading around you'll see what issues are being discussed around your topic and start to develop a specific research question that interests you.

Begin searching in the Start Your Research Here box at the top of the page. This search box will allow you to search many databases at once.

According to your assignment, you need to choose a topic (see suggested topics above) and explore how this topic impacts a minoritized group. For example, we decided to start searching using the terms climate change and minorities. Just type your search terms in the box and click the Search button.
  • Tip: Choose a topic that you find interesting.  
  • Tip: As you read about the issues, you can begin to focus your topic on a specific issue on climate change and minorities. Ask yourself what you find interesting about this topic.
  • Tip: Use the limiters in the Refining Your Results box on the left side of the results page to get more relevant results. Publication DateAvailability and Material Type can be helpful limiters to use.
  • Tip: Find other ways of saying or synonyms for your key search terms and use these in a new search.

What's a research question?

A brief, specific question that helps you to collect and read information--trying to collect information on a broad topic can be overwhelming, so start with a specific open-ended how and why question to guide your research.
  • Tip: A research question should not be answerable with a yes or no or with easily found facts.

How do I develop a research question?

As you read, ask yourself what issues are scholars and researchers discussing about your topic? What are you curious about? Are there questions that come to mind as you read these articles?
  • Tip: Look at the sample research questions from your research paper assignment.

Keep Track of the relevant sources you find.

Be sure to Keep Track of Your Sources. Most databases feature tools for generating a formatted citation and emailing articles with a formatted citation.
  • Tip: Save your citations in MLA 9 format.
  • Tip: Create a word document and copy and paste your saved citations in this new document; this will be a first draft of your Works Cited page.

 

For more about this process, check out the short video below Picking Your Topic Is Research!

(From NC State University Libraries. Creative Commons 3.0 BY-NC-SA US license.)

2 Finding Library Sources

Searching for sources in the library databases

Use the Start Your Research Here box. 

  • You are required to use library sources for this research paper, so use the Start Your Research Here box at the top of this guide page (also at top of the library homepage) to find library sources. This search box will allow you to search many databases at once.
    • Tip: Now that you have a research question, let it help you collect information. Use the nouns or major concepts from your research question as your search terms.
    • Tip: Use the filters on the left side of the results page to get more relevant results. Publication DateAvailability and Material Type can be helpful filters to use.
    • Tip: Find other ways of saying or synonyms for your key search terms and try a new search with these.
    • Remember, first attempts at searching do not always produce the best results; keep calm and carry on with your research being flexible and open to what you find.
    • Ask for help from a reference librarian or professor, if needed. 

How do I find the types of sources I need for this assignment?

  • For this research paper, you will need a minimum of five sources, including one audio-visual text, one peer-reviewed journal article and one newspaper article.
    • To find videos, use the drop down menu (All Results) on the search box to select Videos. You can also limit to Videos under Material Type under Refine Your Results (on the left side of screen) after searching. 
    • To find Peer-Review articles, begin searching in the Start Your Research Here box; use the Peer-reviewed Journals limiter under Refine Your Results, then under Availability.
    • To find news articles, you can search in Newspaper Source Plus database.

Keep Track of the relevant sources you find.

  • Be sure to Keep Track of Your Sources you think might be useful as you search. Most databases feature tools for generating a formatted citation and emailing articles.
    • Tip: Save your citations in MLA 9 format.
    • Tip: Create a word document and copy and paste your saved citations in this new document; this will be a first draft of your Works Cited page.

Use MLA9 Style.

 

For more about searching for sources, check out the short video below One Perfect Source?

(From NC State University Libraries. Creative Commons 3.0 BY-NC-SA US license.)