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ENG 316

Advanced research techniques for students in English 316

Research Basics

Pictures of circular arrows

Research is an iterative process 

It can take more time and effort than simply plugging a few keywords into Google and taking the top three hits.

  1. Analyze (assignment, due date, topic, etc...)
  2. Find the right tools (books, databases, internet)
  3. Search for information
  4. Evaluate what you find
  5. Take notes on your information
  6. Do you have enough to complete the assignment or do you need to find more information?

Research Tips

  • Give yourself enough time to engage the process.
  • Work broad to narrow.  Gain an overview of your topic before you delve deep.
  • Ask yourself who might "have" the information you need?
  • Always "be researching"  -- Look carefully at what your sources are telling you; use them to guide your research.
  • The Librarians are here to help you! Use them as a resource!

Writing and Reading Advice and Hints


There are three main ways to integrate another person's work into your own.  As you write, it is important to use each method to make your writing interesting and readable. 

The three methods are:

  • Quoting - Direct quotations means that you use the exact words employed by the authors in the original text.  Usually, you will only use a few phrases or a sentence or two.
  • Paraphrasing -- To paraphrase something means to put the source material into your own words.  Typically, the paraphrase will be shorter than the source material. 

  • Summarizing -- When you need to use long passages, chapters, etc. of source material, you can rewrite the main ideas in much shorter form.  However, the ideas belong to the source material so they still need to be cited.


Know your sources

Click on the infographic to explore more different source types.

source types infographic