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Information Literacy, Level Two: Where to begin

Welcome!

This Research Guide is your tutorial for ENG 200. In this tutorial we will build on what you have learned in ENG 111 and will also teach you how to do more advanced research.

The research strategies you learn in this course can be applied to your other Meredith courses and in your career. These research skills will keep you going strong as a student and beyond!

 

Learning guide

Here are the questions that you should be able to answer after completing the Information Literacy unit.  Use this as a guide as you review the tutorial.

  1. How do I develop and refine my research topic into a research question?
  2. What are some sources for getting background information on a topic?
  3. How can I implement a variety of information search strategies in the appropriate resources?
  4. What are subject databases and when should I use them?
  5. Why should I use scholarly articles for my research?
  6. How can I use the “Books and More” tool to find books on my topic? 
  7. What are Boolean operators and how do I use them for better search results?
  8. What are other advanced search techniques and how do I use them?
  9. What are subject terms and why are they useful?
  10. Why should I evaluate information and resources and determine their source of accuracy?
  11. How can I use sources with appropriate documentation style, without plagiarism or misrepresentation?

The research process

Academic research is a process that can be multidisciplinary and will take time to execute. Your topic may change as you learn more about it -- you'll most likely broaden or narrow topic before you're finished. Your research topic may even change completely, so you will need to stay open minded as you research. You also should think of research as an investigative process and you as the investigator.

Here are some steps to help you get you started with your research:

1. Analyze the assignment so you know what you are expected to accomplish.

  • Is it to write a summary, analyze a topic, or to argue and take a stand on an issue?

2. Identify a preliminary topic and develop a preliminary research question. (Note: A research question CANNOT be answered with a yes or no).

3. Search for information about your topic.

4. Write a research question or a thesis.

  • A research questions should not be too broad or narrow in scope
    • Too broad: Are violent video games bad?
    • Too narrow: Does exposure to violent video games impact brain development of boys ages 7-10 in rural townships?
    • Better in scope: What effect does playing violent video games have on children and adolescents?
  • A thesis statement is the central idea of your paper

5. Incorporate the information you have found into your paper.

 

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Credit and thank you!

Carlyle Campbell Library would like to thank Lynne Bisko, Non-print Librarian at Elon University.  While we did not directly copy her work, the structure and many of the ideas contained in this tutorial are Lynne's work.