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ENG 112: Basic Research

ENG 112 Banner: Bananas on a banana tree

Use the resources in this guide to find library resources, such as articles, books, and videos, on a variety of topics. Make sure that you pay attention to the search tips and examples provided on each page. They will help make your research more successful. If you are having trouble finding sources for your assignment, ask a librarian for help.

Book / Novel Guides

Some ENG 112 classes read a novel or other book during the semester and many of those have an online research guide that points you to sources related to that particular book. If there is not a guide for your book, let us know!

Research Basics

Explore and Refine: Girl looking through a telescope at Paris, France.

Explore & Refine Your Topic

Before you settle on a topic, it's a good idea to do some background research first. The library is a great source for background information! After you've found some background information, you can refine or narrow your topic. Remember, the shorter your final paper, the narrower your topic needs to be.

Search: Male student using a laptop computer.

Search For Sources

After you've refined your topic, it's time to start searching for sources. Do you need books, articles, or something else? You may find that you need to adjust or even change your topic once you start searching for sources. It is a normal part of the research process to go back to the Explore and Refine phase and start going in a different direction. 

Read & Evaluate: Person sitting at a desk taking notes.

Read & Evaluate Your Sources

It's always a good idea to evaluate sources before using them in your assignment. Do you need to have scholarly sources or the most recent research?

Write & Cite: Desk with computer and paper.

Write & Cite

Pull everything together to share your argument and your evidence. Tie ideas from your sources together with your own thoughts and analysis to make a compelling case.

Off-Campus Access

Paw: Indicates that a password is needed to access the resource from off campus.The username and password to access databases from off campus is similar to what you use to access the PCC campus portal (myPittCC) and Moodle. For the username, use the first part of your myPittCC email address only. DO NOT include @my.pittcc.edu. The password is exactly the same as what you use to log in to the campus portal. Generic logins are available to community residents with PCC library cards, and others who are enrolled in or are affiliated with PCC programs and continuing education courses.