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Assignment | Argument Essay (Saul) : Find Information

ENGL 1301 | Prof. K. Saul (Summer 2024)

Doing Your Background Research

Illustrated couple on dateThink of it like going on a date: you're trying to get to know the other person (your topic) without scaring them off because you're trying to talk about marriage, houses, and grandkids (i.e. your "real" research) on the first date. And, of course, once you've gotten to know them better, you're able to buy them gifts and guess what they would like, because you've taken the time to establish those little basic details.

Starting Points

What is...? Look it up!

Don't take ideas and terms for granted -- take a moment to do some simple, one-word searches in a resource like Credo Reference. Background information gives context. You never know what ideas you'll generate.

Current Issue Collections:

Two tips:

  • Consider tapping into UP Library Current Issues Guide
  • The databases below focus on current and controversial issues and provide introductions to the topics and collect a variety of related sources to further your research. Great starting points!

Digging Deeper: Multi-Discipline Database

Across disciplines and subject areas, full text articles from over 5,300 journals, magazines and newspapers, plus image collections.

Recommended Sources

Google Scholar Search

As a freely accessible web search engine, Google Scholar is an additional resource you can dig in for journal articles and other materials. A search box to use Google Scholar has been provided below, as well as a link to our Google Scholar guide, which will give you direction on gaining access to research articles from Lone Star College Library.

Caution: Google Scholar is a great tool, but that's in addition to the databases, not instead of. Scholarly articles tend to be behind paywalls, and even Google can't give you access. As well, there are predatory journals out there (with low publication standards) that Google doesn't disregard from its results.

Credo Mind Map Tool

Below is a sample mind map from Credo Reference. Click on the image to access this database and its mind map tool.

As you develop important keywords through the mind map, keywords become search terms to find information focused on your topic. See Search Better (below) to combine these terms.  

Search Tips

Information Management

Don't forget to save the information you find immediately. Don't wait and lose your discoveries.