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English Composition: Finding Information

A quick overview of the research process for students who are new to using the library.

Search the Library

Use this box to try out Start My Research, which is the library's best tool for locating information. It looks for print and electronic books, scholarly and popular articles, streaming videos, government documents, and a whole lot more.

Refining Your Search

Start My Research is a very powerful search tool that collects a variety of information. For that reason, sometimes the results which appear at the top of the list might not be that helpful to you. You can certainly try to change the words you used to search, but it's also a good idea to use the tools on the left side of the page under the heading Refine Your Search.

Many of your course assignments will require you to use sources that we call "scholarly" or "peer reviewed." The easiest way to locate those is to run a search, then select the option on the left that's labeled Scholarly Materials, including Peer-Reviewed. Once you click that, your results will be limited to only scholarly sources.

There's an option for Publication Date that lets you focus on a specific timeframe, such as the last five years, and another option labeled Discipline. This is where you can focus on a specific subject area.

Options in Start My Research