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ENGL 100 (Diaz) SP24

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Research Breakdown

This video will briefly explain how to navigate a few databases that are a good match for this research assignment.

Popular vs Scholarly

This video will provide an overview of different types of sources, including peer reviewed scholarly sources. Learn about distinguishing characteristics of popular and scholarly sources. 

Finding Credible Sources Online

Learn how to discern between credible and non credible sources you find while browsing the internet.

Key Terms

Write down your research question or topic.

  • Example: How does sleep impact the academic success of college students?

Identify the key concepts. Most keywords are nouns. Make sure to avoid vague or “fluff” words (how, the, of, etc.)

  • How does  sleep  impact the  academic success  of  college students?

Brainstorm synonyms, broader terms, and narrower terms to create a word bank.

  • Sleep
    • Rest, nap, sleep schedule
  • Academic success
    • Grades, graduation rate, GPA
  • College students
    • University students, students, college freshmen

Mix & match keywords while searching.

  • Note: Connecting your keywords with AND will tell the search engine to make sure all of your keywords are included in your results.
    • sleep AND academic success AND college students
    • rest AND GPA AND college freshmen
    • sleep schedule AND graduation rate AND students

Search Tip: If you’re having a difficult time coming up with keywords...

  • Do some background research
  • Use a thesaurus to help you brainstorm synonyms
  • Do a quick search and skim the results to see what terminology is being used

Pro/Con Resources

As a researcher, it's important to explore various angles regarding your topic. Incorporating Pro/Con sources of information will help you make a stronger argument by acknowledging and considering different opinions and perspectives


  • CQ Researcher: 
    1. Click on CQ Researcher Tile
    2. Select the Pro/Con tab
    3. Select a topic of choice
  • US NewsStream (ProQuest): 
    1. Type your topic in search bar
    2. On results page
      1. Go to Filters
      2. Go to Document Type 
      3. Select Letters to Editor
  • Gale Opposing ViewPoints
    1. Browse Issues or enter key terms in Search Ba r
    2. Click on Featured Viewpoints


  • Provides arguments for and against topics such as medical marijuana, euthanasia, prostitution, and more.
  • Public Agenda: Reports and discussions on critical issues, including education, health care and community engagement.
  • Pew Research Center: Explore research on various issues from a highly reputable, nonpartisan think tank.

Point of View in Periodicals: 

Check out this helpful guide about how to locate a wide variety of periodicals and perspectives on hot topic issues.

Watch this video for an overview of how to access resources from the 3 databases listed above!

Suggested Databases