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ENGWR 300 (White)

ENGWR 300 (White)


Know Your Assignment

Welcome to the research guide for Alex White's College Composition class. This guide will provide information on searching books, databases and web sites to help you define your topic. Added bonus: most of the library databases will provide the required MLA citation for your source.

Please ask your professor if you have questions about your assignment.

What is your research topic?

Defining Scope

The scope of your topic may be how broad or narrow your topic is. For example:

  • Are you researching water (broad) or the Sacramento River (narrow)?
  • Are you researching animals (broad) or cats (narrow)?

The scope of your topic may also be described by answering a few simple questions:

  • Who am I researching? For example: women or girls?
  • When did it happen? For example: the 20th century or January 2018?
  • Where did it happen? For example: United States or Sacramento?


You might have to change the scope of your topic as you do your research. 

As you read sources about your topic, you will educate yourself on your topic, and you will be able to describe the scope from a more educated perspective. 


How the Library Can Help

The library is open Mondays through Thursdays 8:00am to 8:00pm, Fridays 8:00am to 4:00pm, and Saturdays 9:00am to 3:00pm. We also have online services: you can reach a librarian via the yellow chat widget found on all of the library pages. The chat button is also on these guide pages.   

This guide will lead you to resources within our library.  You will be able to use our databases at any time day or night.  Most of the library's sources include a citation in the MLA format that is required for this class.

Library resources tend to be reliable sources of information. This guide also includes tips for effectively searching the internet for credible sources using Google and how to evaluate if a source is reliable.