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English 161: General Research Guide: Starting Out

Welcome to the Research Guide for your English 161 Course

UIC Librarians have created this guide to expose you to techniques and tools for finding quality sources for your research paper.

Doing Research: An Introduction to the Concepts of Online Searching

Click above to start the Doing Research tutorial.

Tips for Searching Catalogs and Databases

In addition to the search techniques covered in the "Doing Reserach Tutorial" above, the following techniques can improve your success with online searching, whether you're searching a catalog for books or a database for articles:

  • Enter phrases in quotes:  "native american," "american indian"
  • Use truncation symbols to search for alternate word endings: In most databases, entering psychol* searches for psychology, psychological and psychologists
  • If one term doesn't work, try a few others. Experiment with different vocabulary related to your topic. Brainstorm ideas for relevant keywords and use background sources such as wikipedia and encyclopedias for suggestions.