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Writing Center Hours

 Writing Center, Library, ATC 1st Floor

                Summer Hours


Mon–Thu                          9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Friday                                 9:00 am – noon


Drop buy the Writing Center located on campus, if you need one on help writing a paper.

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Research Techniques

Before you begin searching for information, you must identify keywords related to your topic. Find keywords:

  • within your research question or thesis
  • in encyclopedias used in background research
  • in bibliographies found at the end of books and articles
  • in a thesaurus
  • by asking a librarian

When brainstorming keywords remember to ask yourself the who, what, when, where, and why of your topic.

Who is involved?

A specific age group, occupation, ethnic group, gender, etc.

What is the problem?

What is the issue facing the "who" in your topic? Health concerns, job and economic trends, contaminated drinking water? 

Where is it happening?

A specific country, region, city, physical environment, rural vs. urban, etc.

When is this happening?

Is this a current issue or an historical event? Will you discuss the historical development of a current problem?

Why is it happening / Why is this a problem?

You may want to focus on causes or argue the importance of this problem by outlining historical or current ramifications. Or you may decide to persuade your instructor and class why they should care about the issue.

The following publications can be found in the library databases with the exception of Internet Sites.  They each have strengths and weaknesses depending on the type of information you are seeking.

  • Internet Sites:
    • Most current information available
    • Least reliable
  • Newspapers:
    • Provide current information
    • Not always accurate
  • Popular Magazines:
    • Geared to the popular reader at an 8th grade level
    • Published weekly
    • Have lots of pictures
  • Trade publications:
    • Professional Association information in them
    • Continuing Education resources
    • Job Ads in the back of them
    • Published every other week or monthly
  • Scholarly publications:
    • Go through a peer review process
    • More reliable
    • Much slower publication rate

Searching for a phrase?

Putting it in quotation marks tells the search that you want that exact phrase, not just any of the words contained within it.

Ex: "film adaptation" 

What is the difference between a journal and an article?

  • In a research context when a professor asks for a journal they are usually referring to a scholarly periodical. For a definition of a scholarly periodical see below.
  • An article is a piece of writing included with others in a newspaper, magazine, or journal. Articles are what make up journals, magazines, and newspapers.

Scholarly Periodicals – Journals

  • written by and for researchers and scholars
  • includes full citations
  • peer-reviewed(articles are viewed by specialists before published)
  • authors are not paid
  • sometimes called academic articles or peer-reviewed articles

Popular Periodicals – Magazines

  • written by journalists or professional writers
  • rarely give citations
  • written for the general public
  • generally shorter articles
  • advertisements

Other Databases/Tools

Distance & E-Resources Librarian

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Will Mayer

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