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CMP101 - Composition 1 - Sherf

The Research Process

the research process begin with the class reading, Discuss and identify the main themes. Isolate the main concepts and come up with keywords. Research the themes using the Library's databases. Collect relevant sources. Evaluate what you've collected and decide which ones to read.

The research process continued

Finding Information

Snap! Search - Stop searching and start finding. Search most of our resources at once and find what you need.

Snap search

Use the Snap! Search limiters to narrow down your results by selecting source types, subjects, date ranges and more. These limiters will be located on the left side of your results.

You can also use the Advanced Search to refine your search results. 

eds advance search

The TX All Text option will give you more results by searching the full-text of the document for your search terms. Use caution with the other options in this list, they may not do what you think they should. For most searches, it's best not to select an option. Use the TX option when you don't get any or many results.

Identify Your Concepts

Take a moment to think about your topic. What are the main concepts involved? What are some words or phrases that describe your topic? Where do you think you'd find information about your topic? What research question are you trying to answer?

It's important to identify the main concepts in the story or article you're using. For example, identify the main concepts in the article "Purse Snatching" by Donna Lopiano. What are the main issues? What is this story about? This will help you decide what to search for. For each concept, you identify come up with a list of keywords and phrases that will help you find the information you need. Credo Reference is a good place to define your concepts and get background information. Look at the table below. Each concept has alternative synonyms, narrower terms, or broader terms.








Basketball / WNBA


Sex discrimination

Title IX


Soccer / Tennis / Auto Racing


I can use these keywords to change the results I get in a database.

*Remember, when searching a database you are often doing a keyword search. The database is not looking for articles about what you've typed in, it's looking for the words you typed in the article. Change your keywords and you'll get different results.

Selecting Sources

As you search for information about your topic, look at each source you find with these questions in mind:

  • What new information does this source add?
  • What claim does it support?
  • How does it help your focus?
  • What new questions does it raise?
  • Does it lead to any other sources of information that might provide more details or better evidence?

Applying these questions to each source you find will allow you to quickly eliminate unnecessary sources.

When writing research papers it is important to cite all the resources you used. As you're conducting your research be sure to collect the citation information from each book, article, or Website you find. Whether you quote directly from one of these sources or put the ideas in your own words you must cite it. If you don't cite correctly you could be found guilty of plagiarism. 

Citations are easy to find in the Library's databases; many of which allow you to email the correctly formatted citation to yourself. Basic citation information includes the title of the work, author, publisher, date, and perhaps source. Use the citation templates to find what information you need to collect for your sources.

Check out our Citation Guide for more information about citations and citing.

cite research