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Composition I and II: ENC 1101/1102

This guide includes resources for students doing research for Composition I & II and an overview of the research process.


  • Take notes: As you read, note any key terms, phrases, issues, etc. You can use these to find additional materials or narrow your search!
  • Use books: Books can also be good sources of background information. Don't be afraid to use books--you won't usually have to read the entire book! Often, the information you need for a research essay will be in one or a few chapters. Make use of the Table of Contents and Index! (Find books in our Library Catalog.)


Finding Background Information

Once you’ve settled on a topic and determined the best keywords to search, educate yourself on the topic. Once again, note any new key terms, phrases, issues, etc. as you find information. For more help finding reference sources, see our full list of Dictionaries and Encyclopedias.

Did You Know?

The Encyclopedia Britannica was first published in 1768 and is the oldest English-language general encyclopedia. See more details about this 3-volume edition, pictured below.


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