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CMP-125 (Peters, Spring 2020)

Research writing



Identify an information problem by activating an interest, scanning the environment, and focusing on a question

February 17th session:

1. General overview of library website

2. Searching library resources

3. NoodleTools citation manager software tool

As you identify relevant keywords related to your topic, it may be helpful to find some background information to gain a good overview and better understanding of the context of your topic.

Conducting some brief background research can help you in finding additional terminology related to your topic, as well as specific events, dates, and names related to your topic.

Some online reference resources to try:

Credo Reference

"...access to 600+ encyclopedias, handbooks, guides and dictionaries.  These reference works cover a wide swath of topics including, science and medicine, etc.

Gale Virtual Reference Library

"A collection of encyclopedias and other reference sources which covers a variety of topics..."

Search Tips

1. Phrase Search-keep a phrase together so it will not get separated and lose intended meaning


"Alex Haley"

2. Truncations  - shorten a word and use wild card (*, ?) to search words of various endings


plagiar* - plagiarism, plagiarize, plagiarizing, plagiarizes

wom?n - woman or women

3. Boolean Operators - use AND/ OR/ NOT to connect your keywords - Boolean Machine.

Capitalize your connectors AND/OR


Haley AND plagiarism (fewer hits because both ideas have to be in articles)


plagiarism OR stealing OR piracy OR theft OR cribbing (more hits because any of these or a combination of these words can be in articles)

4. Use parenthesis and quotation marks for logical execution of search terms

Haley  AND (plagiarism OR stealing OR piracy OR theft OR cribbing)