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ENG 210: Get Started

A guide for students in English 210.

Selecting a topic


  • Look through your readings or the news for ideas on what to write about.  What sounds interesting to you?  What do you want to know more about?

Personal Experience

  • Research something that is personal.  What are you interested in?  What makes you angry? What needs to change in the world?  The possibilities are endless.

Research Tip - Keywords

Developing the proper keywords is a crucial step in the research process.  Use the overview stage to help you find the best terms for searching and to develop a search strategy.  Look carefully for synonyms as well as broader and narrower ways to refer to your topic.

Getting Started: Encyclopedias & Dictionaries

Begin your research by searching for background information on your topic, using one of the Reference Databases listed below.

  • Credo Reference
    Provides full-text access to a large digital collection of reference materials. In addition to dictionaries and encyclopedias, biographies, maps and images are available. 
  • Google Search -- Search around on Google to practice your keywords and see if there is information on your topic.  Get an overview by reading a short web article.

Other Ideas

The following databases offer in-depth, non-biased introductions to many of today's important issues. Additionally, these sources may assist you in discovering a topic:

If you are studying a local topic, be sure to consult the Researching Local Issues LibGuide. 

Your friendly neighborhood librarian