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ENG152: Home

Off-Campus Access to Databases

To access any database in this Research Guide from off campus, you will need your myMCC login. If you need to reset your password, go to the myMCC login page and click on Password Reset/Find Username.

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Kim Tipton
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Pre-Research

Pre-Research

  • Further explore a topic to see if enough information about a topic exists
  • Helps you refine your topic or help you find a new aspect of it to explore

A library database like Opposing Viewpoints is a great place to start. Their Browse Issues feature lists hundred of topics to explore. For each topic, you'll find a summary, as well as a list of numerous sources in various formats.

Start by reading the summary to gather keywords that look interesting to you.

I chose Food Safety. These are just a few of the keywords I found:

  • Food handling
  • Foodborne illness
  • Food safety practices
  • Pesticides
  • US Department of Agriculture
  • US Food and Drug Administration
  • salmonella

The Research Process

Sample Research Question

Research Question

How do pesticides affect food safety?

Keywords

Types of keywords:

  • Related: synonyms or similar terms (like pest control or food handling)
  • Broad: more general categories (like pollutants or food science)
  • Narrow: specific examples (like soil pesticides or food recall)

Let's brainstorm some keywords that we can use to find sources to support our argument.

  1. Use Google to search our main ideas.
  2. Go to this Padlet.
  3. Add the keywords you find.

Search Tools

  • Broad Google search for popular sources
  • Food and regulation and agriculture specific websites like the Food and Drug Administration (ie, for statistics)
  • Library databases for popular and scholarly sources and eBooks
  • Library catalog for print and eBooks (ie, for background information)

Some Terms to Know

Format
How the information is presented, or the method used to convey the information
Examples: a book, newspaper/news media, magazines, scholarly journals

Source
The specific content or the information itself

Scholarly/Peer-Reviewed source
Article written by a subject matter expert and reviewed by other experts on the same subject, then published in a scholarly journal

Popular source
Information that has not gone through the peer-review process, like a newspaper article. Most of what we read everyday is considered a popular source.

Selecting and Using Keywords Video (3:50)

keyword with magnifying glass over research

Joshua Vossler's video "Selecting and Using Keywords"

Research Tip: If you're researching the topic videogame violence as discussed in the video, a site like this one from Statista would be great to supplement your research.

ENG 152 Information Literacy Objectives

Information Literacy is one of MCC's four general education goals. Information Literacy is the ability to recognize when information is needed and to locate, evaluate and use information effectively. In this session, you will learn how to:

  1. Select appropriate search tools to identify and locate information sources.
  2. Construct effective database searches.

These skills will help you find quality, appropriate resources for your research assignments.