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ENC 1101 - Richmond (Dale Mabry): Home & Start

To help you complete your Cause/Effect Essay assignment


This Library Guide will help you complete your Cause/Effect Essay assignment.

Start your research on this page. Use the tabs above to navigate other pages.

For MLA guides, select Citing & Writing (link opens to a page on this guide)If you have questions, please refer to the Help page(link opens to a page on this guide).

Good luck!


Start Here! Search the Dale Mabry Library Catalog

Find Books, Articles, Media, & more:

Keyword Search Term Map

When you choose your topic from the list provided, find the main point or idea of your topic.  For example, The decline of marriage rates in America.  You cannot type this into the search box as is.  You must break it down first. 

Main Keyword Search Term:  "marriage" or try "marriage rates"

Second Level Keyword Search Term:  "America"; "United States"

Third Level Keyword Search Term:  decline

Sample Keyword Search Terms to Use

  • "public education" AND "United States" AND decline
  • Fracking
  • "globalization" AND cause
    • best to narrow this topic to a subtopic of interest

    • Such as:  international trade; free trade;

  • "reality TV" OR "Reality Television" AND popularity OR "popular culture"
  • "high school" AND "drop out" OR dropout
  • "heart disease" AND causes OR "heart disease" AND effects
  • "reality shows" OR "reality TV" OR "reality television" AND popularity
  • "reality television shows" AND "popular culture"
  • "television shows" AND violence OR violent
  • movies AND violence OR violent; "movie violence" AND popularity OR "popular culture"
  • "video games" AND violence
  • "World War II" AND causes
  • "World War I" AND effects


Remember to add "university press" to your search term when looking for a book (printed or eBook) published by a University Press for a scholarly resource.

Watch this brief video about Choosing Keywords (link opens to video on YouTube).

After you get your results, You Can Refine Them (link opens to a help screen).

Good Databases to Use

Find Scholarly Articles

The databases listed below are great to use to find a scholarly article on your topic.  Hover over the database title for more information.  Remember, check Full Text and Scholarly (Peer-Reviewed) Journals - magazines are not typically scholarly so even if you have magazine articles that populate in the results, stick with academic journals to be safe.

What Are Journals? What Is Peer Review?

cover image of journal of family psychologyJournals...

contain articles usually written by scholars in an academic or professional field. An editorial board of experts in the field reviews articles to decide whether they should be accepted (this process is known as "peer review"). 

Articles in journals can cover very specific topics or narrow fields of research. 

Much of the research that you will do for academic purposes will involve finding and using scholarly, peer-reviewed articles from journals.

What Does an Article from a Scholarly (Peer-Reviewed) Article Look Like?

Authoritative Websites & Smart Googling

Education Topics


Decline in Marriage Rates


Health Topics

History - A Specific War

Google Smartly & Evaluate What You Find

Search webpages, images, videos and more.

How to Search on Google (link opens to a help screen).

Be sure to think carefully about the resources you are using. Apply the C.R.A.P. detection model

    * Currency - How recent is the information?

    * Reliability - What kind of information is included in the resource? Is it balanced? Does the creator provide references or sources for data or quotations?

    * Authority - Who is the creator or author? Who is the publisher or sponsor?  What is the author's or publisher's interest (if any) in this information?

    * Purpose/Point of View - Is this fact or opinion?  Is the creator/author trying to sell you something; persuade you about something?

Some people add another "A" to spell CRAAP. the extra a is for Accuracy - Is the content readable? Is the content truthful? Is the content correct?