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ENG101: College Writing (McGuire): Home


Welcome to the Research Guide for ENG101, College Writing.  Please use this guide to find resources for your argumentative paper.  Please contact myself or any BCC Librarian if you have any questions.

What is?


When you're writing a research paper, the strength of your argument relies on the evidence you present, so locating reliable and factual sources is key to your success. Start by choosing a topic you are passionate about, then refine it.

Brainstorm dimensions of your topic to add specificity and formulate keywords. At this stage, using online sources will help you understand which factors are central to the discussion surrounding your topic, but you will want to think critically about each online source before citing it in your paper. For example, who is the author or publisher? Do they have a bias or agenda? When was the source created, is it timely? 

Example: Overcrowding in the U.S. Prison System

Thesis: Overcrowding of U.S. prisons causes increased recidivism (the tendency of a convicted criminal to reoffend) and prevents individuals who are incarcerated from receiving rehabilitation.

Brainstorming Keywords
Brainstorming Keywords
  • Keyword Searching
overpopulation OR overcrowding
  • Use "quotations" to search a phrase
prison OR correctional facility
  • Link different terms together using AND
budget or finance
  • Link synonyms together using OR
mental health
  • Pay attention to Subject Terms for additional ideas
rehabilitation programs  
substance abuse  
alternatives to imprisonment