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English 110: Freshman Composition: LibGuide

This research guide is intended to help you design effective research strategies and locate print and electronic resources for your research paper.

Welcome to ENGL 110 LibGuide!

Welcome to the English 110: Freshman Composition LibGuide!

This research guide is intended to help you design effective research strategies and locate print and electronic resources for your research paper. Resources introduced here are accessible in the CCNY libraries, as well as from off-campus.



Research Tips:

1. Define your research topic 

What are you interested in? What do you want to find out? What do you intend to demonstrate/argue/prove in your paper?

...Looking for a topic? Browse topics in:


2. Get overview & identify key terms

Get an overview and background information of the topic. Use print & online subject specific encyclopedias, and be familiar with your topic and keywords to use. Refine and narrow down your topic.                                                                                                                                                 

  • Gale Virtual Reference Library (online database)
  • Oxford Reference (online database)
  • Oxford English Dictionary (OED) (online database)
  • Social issues in America : an encyclopedia / ed. by Climent James [HN57 .S624 2006] (Print, available at CCNY)
  • Encyclopedia of American cultural & intellectual history / ed. by Mary Kupiec Cayton (eBook available for CCNY users)
  • Gale encyclopedia of science / ed. by K. Lee Lerner (eBook available for CUNY users)
  • Encyclopedia of information ethics and security (eBook & print)
  • Encyclopaedia of the history of science, technology, and medicine in non-western cultures (eBook & print)
  • Encyclopedia of 20th-century technology (eBook & print)


Search more titles in the Library Catalog.


3. Outline your paper & identify resources you need

What is your thesis? What information do you need to support your argument? Are you focusing on ethical/economical/psychological/religious/historical aspects of the subject?

Identify the types of resources you need (print/electronic? books? journal/magazine/newspaper articles? still images? moving images? statistics? interviews?)


4. Search for information

Search for information in online catalogs and databases. 

... etc.

  • Magazine articles --- Online databases

... etc.

... etc. 

A complete list of databases is available under Databases A to Z.

For subject guides in specific areas of study, see the complete list here.


5. Evaluate information & Sources

Is it accurate? Are they appropriate for academic research paper?


6. Apply information & cite sources

Cite your sources according to MLA style. Utilize "Cite" functions available in online databases or refer to MLA Format & Style Guide (Purdue University). Print copies of MLA handbook for writers of research papers [LB2369 .G53 2009] are also available in the City College libraries.

Books (Print)

Last name, First name. Title of Book. City of Publication: Publisher, Publication year. Print.

Obama, Barack. The Audacity of Hope : Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream. New York: Crown Publishers, 2006. Print.

eJournal articles

Last name, First name. “Article Title.” Publication Title: Issue# (publication year): page#. Name of database. Web. Date accessed. 

Dansieh, Solomon Ali. "SMS Texting And Its Potential Impacts On Students' Written Communication Skills." International Journal Of English Linguistics 1.2 (2011): 222-229. Communication & Mass Media Complete. Web. 28 Sept. 2013.



Prefer using a chart?

See Research steps for your paper


Need research assistance?

...Ask a librarian!

Come find me/us at the reference desk in the Cohen Library.


Need writing assistance?

...Visit the Writing Center!

They offer one-on-one tutoring services.


Image: "Typing class at Nambour State Rural School." (1946). By Agriculture And Stock Department, Publicity Branch [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

Librarian/Chief of Cataloging & MPC Division

Trevar Riley-Reid's picture
Trevar Riley-Reid
Morris Raphael Cohen Library, NAC 2/310

Need help?

E-Z Proxy Access
For all resources from off-campus click database name and follow instructions.  See instructions

Can't find the fulltext article?

To Request Articles

  1. From any database use FIND IT to determine the availability of the journal article you are looking for, or, if you are not already within a database, search for online access in the Journal Title List or the Catalog for print access to determine whether City College owns the journal title, volume, and issue you need.
  2. If a journal is available at City College, do not request article via Interlibrary loan
  3. If a journal is unavailable at City College, request article via Interlibrary loan 
  4. If a City College paper journal issue or volume is missing, request it via ILL with note.
  5. Articles and book chapters are delivered in PDF format.
  6. Include the ISSN number for fastest ILL delivery.