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ENGL 1301 & 1302

Academic Writing and Research

Developing a Topic and Focus

Need assistance with forming search terms? Try:

  • Writing a sentence about your topic.
  • Pull out important words. 
  • Think of other key terms outside of the sentence. 
  • Talk to other people about it - perhaps someone who works in the field. 
  • Use database features to focus your research question. 

Search Library Catalog by keyword, title, etc.

Search Discover Databases,Books, or Reserves

Developing Keywords

Make a research question from your topic.

  • For example: "What is currently being done to help conserve the endangered Giant Panda population?"
    • Keywords: conserve and Giant Panda

Think of related words.

  • Conserve: conservation, preservation, protection
  • Giant Panda: panda, Ailuropoda melanoleuca (scientific name).

Get searching!

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