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ENG102 (Hadley-Luzerne; K. Jones): Research Tips

This guide is a good starting point for research for Hadley-Luzerne's ENG102 class.

For This Assignment

You'll need at least six sources to support your essay (five pages). Here are some suggested types of sources: 

  1. one chapter from a reference database or statistics database for an overview of your marginalized group.
  2. two scholarly articles from peer-reviewed journals, 
  3. two articles from newspapers or magazines (such as N.Y. Times, The Washington Post, The New Yorker etc.), 
  4. at least one government website/source.
Citations: Library databases offer MLA citations. Copy and paste them to edit later, with the help of the writing center if needed.

Learning about Library Database Search Techniques

Before your start your research, see the tutorials below then complete the short quiz.

  • For more help, see:


Suggested Search Words

Summary of database research techniques:

  • Use the asterisk (*) to look for all endings of a word. 
  • Use OR if your topic has synonyms (words with similar meanings). 
  • For a phrase, add quotation marks so the words are searched together.
  • Use the database's Advanced Search to overlap search terms with AND
  • Here are suggested search words:
Copy and paste these search terms into library databases for best results quickly
  • “Rural Americans” 
  • “African Americans” 
  • Poverty 
  • “Mental Illness” 
  • Elderly 
  • “Native American*”
  • Women
If you find too much while searching a database, click Advanced Search and add a second idea:
  • inequality
  • “United States”
  • COVID-19 OR coronavirus OR pandemic*

1) Finding Reference Sources and Statistics

  • Your paper must start with a well-researched overview of your chosen marginalized group (i.e. the Poor, Elderly, etc.).
  • This overview should emphasize the group's general socio-economic circumstances before COVID-19.
  • The best way to find this background information is with reference (encyclopedia) and statistics databases, listed below.
  • Use these library databases to find statistics and background about your marginalized group.
    • Use AND to add health care, educational opportunities, housing, employment, etc.

2) Finding Scholarly Journal Articles

Search any of these article databases for magazines, newspapers and peer-reviewed journals. 

  • Download the article's PDF
  • Copy the citation if wanted.

Make sure to copy your citations for each article. 

If you want to find more articles, see:

3) Finding Newspaper and Magazine Articles

Search the same databases as you did for Step 2.

  • Most articles in these databases are from non-scholarly publications.
  • You can also search only for magazines or newspapers using the limiters, on the left side of ProQuest Central, for instance.

Make sure to copy your citations for each article. 

4) Finding Government Sites

1) SUNY Adirondack librarians collected government links about COVID-19 on this page: 

2) You can also do a Google Advanced Search to find government websites.

  • See the video below to learn how.
  • Government agencies and Google will not write citations for you, so use citation software like Citation Machine, etc. 

Citing Your Sources

SUNY Adirondack's English Division faculty offer our students help with writing drafts and creating citations. 

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