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ENG102 (Whitehall; Mrs. Short): Research Tips

This guide is a good starting point for research for Whitehall's ENG102 class.

For This Assignment

You'll need at least eight sources to support your essay (10 pages). Here are some suggested types of sources: 

  • e-book chapters from online encyclopedias and other electronic books (for topic overviews and background),
  • articles from newspapers or magazines (for the latest news, and in-depth research),  
  • statistics,
  • government documents. 

​See tutorial videos below. You can also email Reference and Instruction Librarian Joyce Miller ( with questions. 

  • Use the asterisk (*) to look for all endings of a word: swear* = swear, swears, swearing
  • Use OR if your topic has synonyms (words with similar meanings). 
  • For a phrase, add quotation marks so the words are searched together: "obscene words"
  • Use Advanced Search to overlap search terms with AND.  

Here are some examples of good searches:

swear* OR "obscene words" OR profanity

COVID-19 OR coronavirus   AND "social distancing"

Getting Started: Articles, Ebook Chapters

The "Start Your Research Here" meta-search box on the library's home page does a broad, shallow search of 100 of the library's 120 databases. 

  • Limit your search to Ebooks to search 170,000+ electronic books. You can download chapters.
  • Limit to Articles to search millions of articles from 80,000 magazines, newspapers and journals.

For help, see these tutorials: 

Center for Reading and Writing

Encyclopedia and E-book Chapters

Use these two library databases to find encyclopedia chapters for an overview of your topic, so you know the important names and events you'll need to discuss your topic. 

Statistics from this database will help you narrow your topic and lead you to more sources:

More Articles

Search these databases for more articles: magazines, newspapers and peer-reviewed journals.

Using Google's Advanced Search

To find websites from government agencies, college websites or non-profit organizations, use Google's Advanced Search. This page shows how: 

Meet Your Instruction Librarian!

Joyce A. Miller's picture
Joyce A. Miller
Above: Joyce on college's 2017 trip to Ecuador, with live volcano Cotopaxi.
Distinguished Professor of Library Science.
Reference & Instruction Librarian.
Liaison to Business, Science, International Education, Humanities, Online Learning.
Library Website Manager.
SUNY Adirondack, 640 Bay Road Queensbury NY 12804
(Please call me Joyce, or Professor Miller.)