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ENC 0022 - Developmental Writing (Plant City): The Research Process

This guide is intended to assist with the research component of College Prep Writing.

Follow These Steps

Things to Keep in Mind

  • Start early.
  • Work from the general (simple) to the specific (more complex).
  • For your search terms, think of keywords and phrases, not whole sentences, that describe your topic.
  • Keep a preliminary bibliography of each item you find, even if you don't know whether you will ultimately use it.
  • Include the subject you're researching, the source that you found (book, article, website, etc.), and a note about or quotation from it.
  • Record your notes in a consistent format, and keep them all in one place (online, on your device or on paper).
  • Stay organized to save time and frustration.
  • Look! When viewing online library resources, look closely at the screen to find useful tools for students, such as a citation helper, translator, MP3 audio, etc.
  • When you need help, Ask a Librarian! 

Why Use a Library?

College-level research involves using a variety of resources to find information that is reliable and relevant to the topic. Most of the research you will do in college involves using academic or scholarly resources available from your campus library. Many of these materials - including encyclopedias, articles, book chapters, and videos - are available online from the library's website.

It is important to know that there is a difference between casual, everyday research using the "free" Web or reading the local paper, and more scholarly research using library resources. This video from Hartness Library System explains.