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English 160 &161: Introduction to Library Research

Welcome to the UIC Library

During your library sessions, you will be learning the basics of how to conduct college-level research. Your instructor and the librarians have developed these sessions to help you complete your research assignments as successfully as possible. After the sessions you should be able to:

  • Determine keywords related to your topic.
  • Find books and articles on your topic.
  • Determine the difference between a scholarly and popular article.

If you need more help once you start researching, just ask a librarian

UIC Library Tutorial: Constructing a Successful Search

How to Search Like a Librarian

Link to first video in this sequence of asynchronous instructional videos for English 160 and 161 above. This will take you to the YouTube Playlist including the following videos which you can also view individually:

Part 1: How to Search LIke a Librarian (2:24)

Part 2: Boolean Search Terms (3:10)

Part 3: Doing a Search and Counting Your Results (3:08)

Part 4: Get More with OR/Incorporating Synonyms (3:13)

Part 5: Getting More Relevant Results with Filters (3:24)

Part 6: Three Ways to Get Articles (2:53)

Part 7: Trying Other Sources/Search Tools (3:40)

Part 8: Getting Help (1:58)

Part 9: Making Bibliographies Easy: The Bonus Episode (3:54)


Research is a Process

Research is Messy


Research can be messy, but that's okay. You may end up changing your topic as you go, and you may not follow these steps in order. As long as you cover them all, that's research. 


Making a Mind Map of Your Topic

Mindmapping, or concept mapping as it is also called, can be an effective way of brainstorming. By plotting out your topic in a visual manner, you can discover connections and identify any missing pieces. It's also a great way to develop keywords and synonyms for database searching.