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_First Year Writing - Regional Campuses — Class Assignments: Waterbury

This guide focuses on research resources for English classes at the Regionals with information for specific assignments.

Getting Started

"It has been said that the Stone Age did not end because man ran out of stones. Instead, Stone Age technology was superceded by new tools and capabilities."  -- D. Lankes
"Credibility on the internet: shifting from authority to reliability." Journal of Documentation 64. 5 (2008): 667-686.

After this session you will:  

  • Learn how to find books and articles using the Library's General Search 
  • Locate and select appropriate Library databases to locate academic articles
  • Apply different search strategies to find relevant articles
  • Discover the difference between scholarly and popular articles 
  • Recognize parts of a citation to support ideas and give credit where credit is due
  • Apply various strategies for evaluating websites
  • Learn how to request books and articles from other libraries
  • Gain an understanding of the library and feel comfortable asking for help

Working with Topics

  • Discovering While Exploring the Web
    Begin your searches with Google or other search engine.  Keep in mind, that much like a draft,  first searches tend to be works in progress.  Often searches are too broad,  for example: Child Development
  • Asking Questions
    As you continue searching and learn more about your topic, you will begin to question what it is about this topic that interests you.  For example, how does technology affect child development?
  • Keywords
    Instead of searching for a question, identify the words that define your topic.  For example:  technology, affect, effect, impact, children, child development, etc.
  • Searching for Credible Sources
    Web searches will take you in a variety of directions, so use appropriate shortcuts to filter through results, for example, to find sources from educational sites, use  site:edu >> children technology affect site:edu
  • Library Resources
    Use keywords that you discovered to now search library databases and add terms to further describe your topic.  For example: children technology affect learning. Library databases will identify  articles, books, book chapters, and more. 
  • Filters
    Filters will help you refine your topic so that you identify books, articles, dates, subjects, and more
"...while there aren't any 'races,' there are 'racial identities.' They don't have any biological significance, but they are important socially." -- Gale Literary Sources

The purpose of this guide is to review strategies to conduct  research and identify credible sources for your assignment  (preliminary proposal).

  • Gain an awareness of themes within Kwame Anthony Appiah's Racial Identities by using the Library's resources.
  • Explore literature databases to identify criticism and reviews that may guide your proposal.  
  • Understanding searching language to help you find what you need, for example, a "subject heading" or descriptor is a term that captures the essence of a topic.
  • Research begins on the Library Home Page:
 Subject Headings - related to Appiah K. Anthony - found in the  Library Catalog (search window)
Appiah, Kwame Anthony(1954-  Finds articles and (book) chapters about the author's life and his theories/ideas
Racial Identities Finds articles and books about ethnicity
Black Racial Identity Finds articles and books on a more focused subject, for example African Americans and relationship to identity
Related material found by using the Library Search Window:

Clay, A. (2003). Keepin' it Real: Black Youth, Hip-Hop Culture, and Black Identity. American Behavioral Scientist, 46(10), 1346-1358.

Literature Databases

This is where you find scholarly articles to support your ideas.  Suggested databases are ...

CQ Resercher Gain knowledge about your topic, for example: race.
Gale Literary Sources Locate biographical information, including interviews, about Kwame Anthony Appiah.
Academic Search Premier Search for articles on your topic, using keywords and subjects/descriptors. 

Related material found by using Academic Search Premier

DE "RACIAL identity of whites" On the Origins of White Nationalism
Byrne, Peter. “On the Origins of White Nationalism.” New Scientist, vol. 238, no. 3181, June 2018, pp. 34–39.
DE "RACIAL identity of African Americans" The "Two Souls" of Barack Obama.
Gaines Jr., Stanley O. “The ‘Two Souls’ of Barack Obama.” Western Journal of Black Studies, vol. 34, no. 3, Fall 2010, pp. 316–324

The purpose of this guide is to review strategies to conduct academic research - beginning with developing an effective search statement and identifying keywords that will identify relevant sources for your annotated bibliography.  

  1. Having a solid awareness of themes within Othello is important in writing about it.  Using Databases, identify Gale Literary Sources. and search by using the keyword Othello. This first step will guide you in formulating a searchable research statement. 
  2. Identify additional  sources about Othello by searching the Library catalog using Othello as the keyword.  Scrutinize the options to limit by Subject.  Note subjects that refer to reviews or criticism. 
  3. Explore databases to view sources from various lenses, i.e psychology, history, etc. 

Suggested Subject Headings: Library Catalog

Exploring search questions: 

"honor killings"
Academic Search Premier

ARTICLE TITLE:  Sharia Law in U.S. Courts: A Necessary Measure to Protect Women
JOURNAL TITLE: Drake Law Review

PsycINFO ARTICLE TITLE: "Different Cultural Understandings of Honor That Inspire Killing: An Inquiry into the Defendant’s Perspective.”
JOURNAL TITLE:  Homicide Studies: An Interdisciplinary & International Journal
Google Scholar

ARTICLE TITLE:   Culture of Honor, Culture of Change
JOURNAL TITLE:  Violence Against Women

"otherness' / race
Google Scholar ARTICLE TITLE:  Race Inequality after Racism
JOURNAL TITLE: Foreign Affairs
  ARTICLE TITLE: Narrative agency in hashtag activism: The case of# BlackLivesMatter
JOURNAL TITLE: Media and Communication
father-daughter relationships
Academic Search Premier ARTICLE TITLE: The Father-Daughter Relationship: Familial Interactions That Impact a Daughter’s Style of Life. 
JOURNAL TITLE:  College Student Journal
Suggested databases: 

To find books and articles, use related subject headings:

To narrow searches, 

  • limit to scholarly/peer reviewed articles
  • limit by subjects that are relevant to you
  • understand citations: is it a book or article?
  • identify the location of the book: is it in Waterbury, online, or at another library?

Identifying primary and secondary sources

  • Note that books by Sophocles will be copies of Oedipus, therefore a  "primary source"
  • Books by others will likely be "secondary sources" and will provide interpretation of Oedipus.  However, they could also be translations, so scrutinize the titles to ensure that they are helpful for your papers.

Suggested databases: 

  • identify themes in Oedipus and search for related articles, for example:  Oedipus AND fate   | Oedipus AND family
  • click on PDF Full Text or UConn Full Text to read the full article
  • request items as needed from Interlibrary Services
  • opt for the MLA  8th edition and always scrutinize for potential errors 
  • export citation to RefWorks to create Works Cited page

Databases will help you identify peer-reviewed articles such as:

Secondary Sources:

To find books and articles, use independently or combine subject headings, considering other terms such as:

success, "quality of life," happiness, "college graduates," expectations

  • Identify a concept related to your reading
  • Select keywords that would identify related sources
  • Search from the library home page
  • Identify 3-5 articles, books, or chapters 
  • Create an MLA  bibliography including selected sources, with a brief justification why sources seem relevant
  • Refer to the CRAAP test to evaluate sources (Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, Purpose)
    (Note links below)
Sample Search Statements
  • Does owning material goods makes you happier?
  • Is deteriorating quality of life is linked to materialism?
  • Do college graduates have realistic expectations of the job market and opportunities?
  • What is the ideal work-life balance to ensure happiness?
As you evaluate citations, 
  • scrutinize the discipline of the source, for example: Management Services will provide information from a different lens thanThe Journal of Positive Psychology or College Student Journal 
  • read the  abstract to determine if the information provided the information is based on personal views - such as an essay or review - or part of a study that may include data 
Consider the following three articles: 

Tan, David. “Post-Graduation Perceptions of Collegiate Expectations and Achievements.” College Student Journal, vol. 30, no. 2, 1996, pp. 175–181.
Roberts, James A., et al. “Looking for Happiness in All the Wrong Places: The Moderating Role of Gratitude and Affect in the Materialism–Life Satisfaction Relationship.” The Journal of Positive Psychology, 2015, pp. 1–10.
Haddon, Janice. “The Secret to Life Balance and Happiness.” Management Services, vol. 57, no. 1, 2013, pp. 20–21.

"Like ourselves, ... they see only their own shadows, or the shadows of one another,which the fire throws on the opposite wall of the cave?"-- The Allegory of the Cave, Book VII,  By Plato​
suggested search terms: plato     cave    " social media"


"Reading a Wikipedia entry is like reading the Bible closely. There are faint traces of the voices of various anonymous authors and editors, though it is impossible to be sure. ...Empowering the collective does not empower individuals. -- Digital Maoism: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism, By  Jaron Lanier in The Best of Technology Writing 2007
suggested search terms: wikipedia     collaboration


"Welcome to the age of the crowd... .. so distributed labor networks are using the Internet to exploit the spare processing power of millions of human brains." The Rise of Crowdsourcing, By Jeff Howe in The Best of Technology Writing 2007
 suggested search terms:digital media     democracy


"YouTube was founded in February 2005, in a Silicon Valley garage, by a couple of former PayPal “democratize the entertainment process,”It Should Happen to You By Ben McGrath, By Jeff Howe in The Best of Technology Writing 2007
suggested search terms:​"user generated content"

Recommended Links

To find books and articles, use the terms below  ...


  • Identify a concept related to your reading

  • Select keywords that would identify related sources

  • Search from the library home page

  • Search further from library Databases: Academic Search Premier

  • Document the source using the MLA  format

  • Refer to the CRAAP test to evaluate sources

(Note links below)

Sample Search Statements

1.  Are we in a Plato-like cave situation when reality is only seen through a screen?

2.  Is political activism a contribution of new technologies?

3. How has Wikipedia changed in the last decade?

4. How does social media affect the spread of fake news?


As you evaluate citations, 

  • scrutinize the discipline of the source, for example: New Media & Society,will provide information from a different lens than Journal of Democracy or Journal of Behavioral Addictions​

  • read the  abstract to determine if the information provided the information is based on personal views - such as an essay or review - or part of a study that may include data 

Citations to consider: 
Tatarchevskiy, Tatiana. “The Popular Culture of Internet Activism. New Media & Society, vol. 13, no. 2, 2011, pp. 297–313.

Lennart Guldbrandsson. “Wikipedia.” Culture Unbound: Journal of Current Cultural Research, vol. 6, no. 3, 2014, pp. 633–636

Samuels, Bob. “Facebook, Twitter, YouTube--and Democracy.” Academe, vol. 97, no. 4, 2011, pp. Academe, 2011, Vol.97(4).

Howard, Philip N., and Muzammil M. Hussain. “The Role of Digital Media.” Journal of Democracy, vol. 22, no. 3, 2011, pp. 35–48.

Baalakarishnan, Janarthanan and Mark D. Griffiths.  "Social Media Addiction: What Is the Role of Content in Youtube?." Journal of Behavioral Addictions, vol. 6, no. 3, Sept. 2017, pp. 364-377. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1556/2006.6.2017.058.


Books from the library catalog...