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ENG 205 Spring 2010   Tags: english, information_literacy, research, writing  

Guide for Intermediate Writing
Last Updated: Jun 3, 2014 URL: Print Guide Email Alerts

Getting Started Print Page


Welcome to the research guide for ENG 205: Intermediate Writing

If you run into any problems in your research, ask a librarian for assistance.


Background Information

Exploring a topic in a standard or specialized encyclopedia can help you develop a research outline, place your topic in a historical context, identify research terms, people of interests, dates and timelines, etc. 

Although we have hundreds of general and specialized encyclopedias, almanacs, handbooks and other paper reference sources on our shelves, we also have several outstanding online collections. The following databases might be of help in this beginning research step:

Gale Virtual Reference Library is a collection of full-text encyclopedias, almanacs, and specialized reference sources on many different subjects.

Oxford Reference Online contains concise coverage of a broad range of subjects and is particularly good for quotations and multi-language dictionaries.


Search Terms and Strategies

Consider search words and phrases and combinations you might use to search for information on your topic. Most databases allow keyword searching, which basically allows you to enter any word(s) or phrase(s) or combinations thereof for very broad search results.

Databases also allow searching by controlled vocabulary such as subject headings or descriptors. The most widely used subject headings are the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH). A subject database might have its own thesaurus. If a database you are searching offers a thesaurus, descriptor list or subject heading list, consider consulting it for terms to make your search targeted and precise. Often they offer suggestions for broader, narrower and related terms that can be used to modify your search if need be.

Search strategy involves deciding how to combine search terms, truncate search terms, search phrases, determine word order in searches, and how to limit search results (language, document type, publication year, etc).


Searching InfoKat

InfoKat is the Libraries catalog. You can find a variety of different types of information from authoritative sources in books, e-books, journal titles, DVDs, government publications, etc. With InfoKat, you can find overview information as well as in-depth research. InfoKat shows you what the UK Libraries own and where to find items.

Like many other databases, primary sources can be found in InfoKat.

Head of Young Library Reference Services & Librarian for English and Linguistics

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Jennifer A. Bartlett
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