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ENGL 100 University Writing

After you've chosen a topic to research, you will need to search for information that will introduce you to the topic. Background sources provide you with:

Important dates or events; definitions; keywords; introduction to main issues; list of sources to start research

Using Internet Sources - A place to start but not to finish

Using Google to start your research process is a good way to get general information quickly.  You can use websites, blogs, and Wikipedia to get general ideas about a topic, and to help frame your research strategy.  

However, the problem with internet sources is that it's difficult to verify the information. Starting your research on Google is fine, but use the library resources to complete your search! 

Tips for using Wikipedia

1) Use the "Reference" section at the bottom to see where the information came from.  These may be quality sources you can use for your research.

2) Scroll through the page to find key people and concepts (which may be highlighted links).  These can be used as search terms and additional exploring.

3) Use highlighted links to jump to related pages, to help give you a sense of the bigger picture.

Reference Sources: Controversial Issues

Try the following sources if you're looking for controversial issues for possible topics:

Selected Online Reference Sources

Gale Virtual Reference Library includes online specialized subject encyclopedias in many subject areas. Includes, for example: St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture

Oxford Reference is a collection of online specialized dictionaries and encyclopedias covering most subject areas. Includes, for example:  Encyclopedia of Human Rights

AccessScience provides more than 9000 articles and research updates in key scientific areas including biology, Earth and environmental sciences, chemistry, physics, and beyond. Top researchers, including 38 Nobel Laureates, are contributors.

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