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ENG: Get Started

A guide for students in English 19/22.

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

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.  

Hunter College Video on Search Strategy and Keywords. (5 1/2 Minutes)

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. 
  • Encyclopedia Britannica
    Provides access to the complete encyclopedia and includes many illustrations, photographs, and audio & video clip
  • 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.

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