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Course & Subject Guides

Biology and Chemistry Capstone - Greensburg Campus

This guide will assist undergraduate students in completing their research for their senior class in biology or chemistry.

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This guide will assist you in developing your research topic and subsequent paper for writing in the sciences and/or the biology or chemistry capstone.  It will also provide you with links to helpful sites and people.

Developing Search Terms & Researching Your Topic

  • mind map image from credo referenceDevelop a topic that asks a question or poses a problem that interests you.
  • Select appropriate search terms for your subject. For better, more relevant results, you may want to use more specific search terms.
  • If you're struggling to find search terms, consider looking up your topic in a textbook or reference database for ideas. The Credo Reference database also has a visual mind map that appears with some entries, giving you related terms and phrases (pictured).
  • Here are some search term examples. Note the use of quotation marks to keep phrases together for more relevant results.
bioassessment macroinvertebrates
"polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons" mutagenesis
phytoremediation "gap junction"


  • Search PittCat and subject-oriented databases.
  • Revise your topic. Determine how you will answer your question.
  • Evaluate your resources carefully!
  • When in doubt, contact your librarian.

The worksheets listed below will help you refine your research topic and understand how to evaluate a scholarly journal article.