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CMP101 - Composition 1 - Carnevale

Getting started with research

Welcome! This guide provides helpful links and resources to get you started with your research. Use the tabs to navigate through the pages of this guide. This box in particular can help you understand how to begin the research.

  1. Understand your assignment: before you get started, read through your assignment and re-write in your own words.
  • What is the purpose?
  • What are the requirements? (citation style, type and/or number of resources)
  • When is the paper due? (give yourself enough time!)
  1. Choosing your topic: pick a topic that interests you (within the scope of the assignment).
  • Use databases like Opposing Viewpoints, newspapers, books, or Google to come up with a topic that interests you
  1. Skim search: if you're not familiar with your topic, spend some time learning about it using encyclopedias, or Wikipedia. 
  • Use reference sources like Credo Reference to find background information on your topic
  • As you read/skim, jot down key terms
  • Think about what question your are trying to answer with your research
  1. Finding Sources
  • Use the keywords you wrote down while reading and begin searching for new information
  • As you search, consider each source:
    • Timeliness: how current is the resource?
    • Authority: who is the author or organization
    • Audience: who is the intended audience?
    • Relevance: how is this resource relevant to your topic?
    • Perspective: are there obvious biases?
    • Sources: does the resource explain where information is coming from?
  1. Citing Sources: as you research your topic, be sure to email, print or save any information that you use. Reasons for when and why to cite include the following:
  • ‚ÄčWhenever you use a thought, idea or words that are not your own;
  • Show readers that you've done your research;
  • Give credit to the people whose work you've used;
  • Allow readers to track down the sources you used in your work;
  • Avoid plagiarism