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ENG 316

Advanced research techniques for students in English 316

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.

Peer Reviewed

When scholars publish articles in professional, academic, peer-reviewed, or scholarly journals their research must often go under a process of "peer review."  Basically, after a researcher submits his/her manuscript, the editors and other experts review the manuscript to judge its merits and appropriateness for that particular journal.  Oftentimes, the author receives ideas and suggestions to improve or enhance the article. This rigorous standard of publishing is different than a traditional magazine and is known as peer review.

Source "Mining"

The bibliography or works cited page can help you with your research.  Using a relevant and "good" article, carefully read through the article for references and suggestions to other articles as well as a path to their sources.  Scholarship and research is a conversation that takes place through the output of articles, book, and studies.  When you have an article , you can use the Electronic Journal Finder to see if the Library subscribes to the journal title.

Image of  article cover sheet

image of article

Image of Bibliography

Reading Techniques

There are many ways to approach a text.  Use the reading techniques below to get started:

Info card on Skimming



Info Card on Intensive reading

Advanced Google Searching

This infographic, borrowed from's "Get More out of Google" has some good tips for searching Google.

Google graphic

  • Searching within a particular domain (i.e. ".gov" or ".edu") can help you narrow a search and find more relevant items.
  • You can limit dates with the "Search Tools" dropdown menu in order to limit your results to a particular day or time frame.

Here is a quick help on searching Google Scholar


Google Scholar Graphic