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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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ktipton@mchenry.edu
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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

From my pre-research I was able to formulate a research question, which is the first step of the research process:

How do pesticides affect food safety?

The Research Process

The Research Process

  1. Start with your research question or thesis statement.
  2. Identify key concepts.
  3. Identify keywords related to those concepts.
  4. Choose your search tools.
  5. Test your search.
  6. Revise/refine your search.

Brainstorm Keywords

Go to our Padlet to brainstorm some keywords specific to this research question. We'll use these keywords later to search library databases.

(Right-click to open the Padlet in a new tab so you can easily return to our research guide.)

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 were researching the topic "videogame violence" as discussed in the video above, you could also use a great and reliable site such as this: https://www.statista.com/topics/868/video-games/  (Video Game Industry: Statistics & Facts | Statista)

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.