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ENG 106 Composition II : Start with Reference

In the Beginning....

There are lots of different ways of starting the process of doing research. 

One place to start is with General Resources.

General Resources are encyclopedias, handbooks, dictionaries, and other reference sources that give you an overview or broad picture of your topic. You should consider starting your research process with General Sources if:

  • You are starting research on an unfamiliar topic
  • You need some background information on your topic
  • You find "holes" in your information as you do other research and want to fill them in

General Resources in the A.C. Buehler Library

Another helpful source...

Here are a couple of other suggestions for sources to use as you begin to explore a topic. CQ Researcher is a great source for current events topics.

The Library also has several book series:

  • Opposing Viewpoints
  • Global Viewpoints
  • Current Controversies
  • Taking Sides

which are also good for beginning some research as well as exploring a range of possibilities for research questions and argument theses. I've linked to examples for the book series, but you can search for your topic in the catalog as well. Here's how:

  • Use Advanced Search
  • Put your topic words in the first box
  • Put the books series title (Opposing Viewpoints, Current Controverises, Global Viewpoints, etc) in the 2nd box
  • Drop open the "Search by" menu and choose Series Title

General Resources Exercise

Choose one of the three electronic reference databases above. Do a search for your topic. Complete the attached worksheet, answering the questions based on your results list.