Research Guide for

ENGC 1101 College Writing (Czerwiec)

Main

Explore Topics and Questions

Choosing a research question is a process of exploring what interests you. After choosing an initial topic, you may need to focus on just one small piece of it as you start your research. The key to choosing and researching any topic it to find something that is neither too broad or too narrow.

To help you understand the research cycle and how to choose an appropriate topic, watch this topic video from North Carolina State University Library.

As you think about research topics and the question you would like to answer, search in a library database to get more ideas:
 

Opposing Viewpoints (Gale In Context)
Opposing Viewpoints in ContextTopic overviews, opinion articles, and additional sources on social, economic, and political issues.


Issues & Controversies
A collection of issue overviews, pro/con articles, court case summaries, editorial cartoons, and other resources for debate on controversial topics.

Credo Reference
Credo logoArticles from dictionaries, general and subject encyclopedias, handbooks, atlases, and more.

Gale eBooks
Selected dictionaries, encyclopedias, and reference books in many subjects.
 

Find Sources

Academic Search Premier (EbscoHost)
Articles in all subjects from scholarly journals, magazines, and newspapers. An all-purpose database and often a good place to start.

Academic OneFile (Gale)
Academic OneFile (Gale)Articles in all subjects from scholarly journals, magazines, and newspapers. An all-purpose database.

JSTOR
Scholarly articles, ebooks, and primary sources in the social sciences, humanities, earth and biological sciences, and more. Includes image results from Artstor.

ProQuest Major U.S. Newspapers
Search the 5 major U.S. newspapers all at once. Includes New York Times (including the Magazine and Book Review), Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal (including WSJ magazine).

Book Search
 
Still stuck? The Library has lots of databaes. Try looking in this list for more options:
Article Databases by Subject
All of the library's online collections, organized by subject.

Research Reminders

Picking a Research Topic
Narrowing down your research topic makes your research easier and increases your ability to persuade your audience. As you begin researching, look for opportunities to narrow your research question.




Choosing and Using Keywords
If you can’t find much on your topic, try different keywords. Using synonyms or broader related terms can help you find more articles. As you research, be on the lookout for new keywords to use.



Research is a process. You probably won’t find everything you need on the first try. You may have to try several library databases to find all the information you need.
 

Ask a Librarian

Call, e-mail, or chat with a librarian for more research assistance. We're happy to help!

  (952) 358-8290

 Email

Libby Picture
Libby Merrill
Reference and Instruction Librarian
libby.merrill@normandale.edu
photo of DavidDavid Vrieze Daniels
Reference and Instruction Librarian
david.vriezedaniels@normandale.edu
 

Note: Your chat question may be directed to a librarian from another college when Normandale librarians are unavailable.

Evaluate Source Credibility

Evaluate each source you use with CAPPS!
Consider the source's –
C = Currency
A = Author
P = Publication
P = Point of View
S = Sources

 
More info about CAPPS pdf
 

Cite your Sources (MLA)

MLA Quick Guide (PDF)
See MLA citation examples for the most common types of sources (9th edition).

MLA Formatting and Style Guide (OWL at Purdue)
This website offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers, in-text citations, and the Works Cited page. Uses MLA 9th edition.

Cite Your Sources (APA)

APA Quick Guide (PDF)
A guide to APA citation format based on the 7th edition of the APA Publication Manual.

APA Formatting and Style Guide (OWL at Purdue)
A comprehensive guide to APA formatting and style (7th edition). See examples of APA formats for papers, References lists, in-text citations, footnotes, and more.

Access Databases from Off Campus

Off-Campus Access Info
In order to access databases and other Library resources from off campus, login with your StarID and password when prompted.  Off-campus access to library databases is only available to current Normandale students, staff, and faculty.