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ENG101: College Writing (Judson)

What is a Reference Resource?

Pic of books and description of reference resources.

Understanding Your Topic


Brainstorming Keywords

  1. Define your research question or topic (Why? Understanding your topic before you dive into searching databases keeps you focused on your topic and less likely to get sidetracked by irrelevant material.) EXAMPLE: What is the impact of air quality on children with asthma?
  2. Break it down - Pick out the core concepts (usually noun or noun phrases) (Tip: You want between 2-4 keywords. Avoid fluff words like impact and effect. Why? Words such as impact are used all the time so you are more likely to get results that aren't relevant to your topic.) EXAMPLE: air quality, children, asthma
  3. Identify 1 or 2 synonyms for each core concept (Why? Computers aren't that smart. They won't do any interpretations for you, which means they will spit out only what you put in.) EXAMPLE: air quality = pollution ; children = youth, adolescents ; asthma = "bronchial asthma"

Using Wikipedia


Using Wikipedia can be a great place to start your research.  You can learn about a topic, much like you can in Credo Reference, but you can also find links to other sources.   Never cite Wikipedia, but use it as a jumping off point for your research.  

For example, look up resilience 

- you will see there are many types of Resilience - but the ones mentioned under Social Sciences are most likely the best fit for your assignment.  There is a ton of information under the psychological resilience section and if you scroll to the bottom of that section, you will see a list of references.  Many link out to the original article, but some do not.  You can actually take the title of an article and try copying into one of our databases to see if we have the full-text of the article.


eReference Sources