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English 102: Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? and City of Glass: to the Research Process

This course guide was created specifically for Professor Andrew Erkkila's Spring 2019 English 102 Classes.

Doing Research by Making Lists

Helpful Videos from North Carolina State University

Three Ways to Organize Research

Three Ways to Organize Research

Tips on thinking about the research/writing process if you are an "outliner", a "freewriter", or a visual organizer.

Planning for Research

Before you begin your research project, take some time to think it through and plan it out. Use the following questions below to develop a plan of action.

  • What is the main subject or topic of your research paper?
  • What is the secondary subject or topic of your research paper?
  • What are the keywords or key phrases that you will use in your research?
  • What are the related words, phrases, or synonyms that you might use in your research?
  • What type of research materials will you be looking for?
  • What limiters might you use to improve the focus of your research?
  • Which resources would provide the best quality and quantity of relevant materials?
  • How many sources, articles, books, or other materials, do you need?
  • How many citations will you be adding to your working bibliography?
  • If you have a question or are unsure about how to do any of these steps, do you know where to go and who to talk to?

Tips for Better Research

  1. Research is part of your writing process.  Write before, during, and after doing research.

  2. Learn a citation manager--RefWorks, EndNote, Zotero, Mendeley, or another one.  Use it to keep track of your references and to help you insert citations into your writing.  [Dealing with References tab]

  3. Make your working bibliography first.  A working bibliography is larger than your final bibliography, consisting of likely prospects that you will examine as you read them.  

  4. Take notes as you read.  Record page numbers on every note.  Write something in your own words with every note.  These two practices will help to keep you from committing plagiarism.

  5. Consult a librarian when you are stuck in your research process. Go to the Writing Center to get help with your writing. Asking for assistance will save you time and give you a better result in the long run.

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