Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

LENG112: Home

Research Process for LENG112 Critical Analysis & Composition

Topic

Identify specific topic.

Understand your relationship to it (e.g. why selected; what already know; how learn more).

Wording

Although topic should be specific, wording might need be general.  Example:

"The Effects of Indian Students Studying Engineering in America on the World Economy."
 
Typing all those words into database will produce zero results.   Word it in broader terms.  Examples:
"indian" and "engineering"; "world" and "economy".
 
If no source exactly matches topic, then connect points between general or related sources.

Sources

Research Relationship

 Primary
 Firsthand, original analysis (e.g. observations, interviews, surveys); Researcher collects or observes original data.
 Secondary
 Secondhand analysis (e.g. articles, books, web sites); library catalogs, articles indices, web engines used to find.
 Tertiary
 Third person (e.g. dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks); library catalogs, articles indices, web engines used to find.
 
Quality
 
- authority (authors' education, experience, intentions)
- methodology (research, analysis)
- timeliness (appropriate publication date for topic)
- relevance (to topic)

Searching

Two types of searches:

Controlled Vocabulary
 
Specific to particular database (e.g. Library of Congress Subject Headings for Nash Library Catalog).
Disadvantage: inflexible (wording must be exact).
Adavantage: results all relevant.

 
Keyword
 
Universal to all databases.
Disadvantage: results often irrelevant.
Advantage: very flexible (almost any words produce results).
 
To lessen irrelevant results, use Boolean Operators:
AND to combine (e.g. america AND education);
OR to expand (e.g. education OR school OR academics);
NOT to eliminate (e.g. mexico NOT new).

Emmett Lombard

Emmett Lombard's picture
Emmett Lombard
Contact:
814-871-7553