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Assignment | Mini-Research Assignment (Caldwell): Finding Sources

Fall 2018 | ENGL 1301 | Prof. Caldwell

Before You Research

Scholarly articles are not the place to start your research. First, you need to get familiar enough with your topic that you can start to narrow it down, and for that you need more general information. This will help you develop context for your topic as well as get to know the specialized terms used by experts.

Articles from the Library Databases

Ebooks & Books


The ebook collections offer several advantages: instant online-access, no need to check-out the book, and you can easily search inside to jump to your search terms.

Print Books

Search the catalog for (mostly) paper books from LSC, HCPL, and MCMLS. Many digital resources can also be found in the catalog.


If you see something good, you can "Place hold" to request the book be sent to a library of your choice. (This can take several business days.)

Since books are grouped together by topic, it can be a good idea to actually visit the library* and go to the shelf of that particular book. Chances are the books on either side of it are going to be helpful, too!


Managing Your Research

While conducting research you will need to capture the articles and associated citations. Your process will be very individual, but be consistent and choose a tool to help organize your research. Some suggested tools below:

OneDriveOneDrive - Cloud storage from Microsoft Office 365. 1 TB free for Lone Star College students.


EvernoteEvernote - The Basic version is free. Works across all mobile devices. Create notebooks for each course or writing assignment. Be sure to download the Web Clipper as well.

ZoteroZotero - Zotero is a free, open access extension that runs in the Firefox and Chrome browsers that's designed to gather, download, and tag your research. Helpful tutorials.

EasyBibEasyBib - Citation generator that is free for MLA.

More Tips

Learn more about advanced search in databases and Google.

Get strategies for quickly picking out relevant articles and reading them efficiently.

Accessing the Databases

Access 100+ databases organized by subject area from the Research Databases page. Also try our dynamic, sortable database list!

Student ID BadgeTo access the databases locked icon (same icon that displays by the LSC-limited access resources) from off-campus, you must provide the 14-digit library barcode.

Don't have one yet? Request a barcode number online.

Evaluating Information

CRAAP test factors: Currency, Relevance, Accuracy, Authority, Purpose

The Three Rs

Is your source
Recent? Reliable? Relevant?

Is this source up-to-date? Is it about my topic, and does it go into enough depth? Does it come from an authoritative source? Is the information accurate (and are there citations given to back it up)? And why was this information written in the first place?