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ENG 152: Food and Health in America

The Research Process

TIP: You can always schedule a research appointment (in person or via Zoom) if you'd like some one-on-one research help.

The Research Process

Step 1: Research Question

Are you trying to answer a question? Make an argument supported by credible sources? You might start by exploring a broad topic. Use the Browse Issues list in Opposing Viewpoints to help you.

Step 2: Main Ideas

What are the main ideas of your research question?

Step 3: Specific Keywords

Brainstorm some keywords specific to the main ideas of your research question. Use Google, Opposing Viewpoints, or Credo Reference to help you.

Step 4: Choose Your Search Tools

Databases? Which one(s)? Library catalog? Google?

Step 5: Test Your Search

Did your keywords help you find relevant sources?

Step 6: Revise Your Search

Try different keywords or a different search tool.

Keywords & search terms

Food and Health in America

This guide provides some helpful information for your research on this topic, including keywords and recommended databases.

Finding Keywords

  1. Do some pre-research on a topic! Use Google to explore your topic, which will lead you to keywords and a way to turn your topic into a thesis statement. You're not looking for specific sources yet - you're just exploring the topic. Write down keywords as you find them. You can use them later to search databases for peer-reviewed sources.
  2. Use the Subject Terms tool in a database like Academic Search Complete. It'll give you database-specific terms to use when searching.
  3. If you need an idea to start with, go to Opposing Viewpoints and use the Browse Issues tool.

Here are some search terms to get you started:

agribusiness, agricultural biotechnology, agricultural subsidies, designer food, diet and disease, factory farming, food additives, food labels, food poisoning outbreaks, food production or supply, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), meat production, nutrition disorders, nutritional epidemiology, obesity

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.