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Course & Subject Guides

ENGCMP 0420: Writing for the Public - Oakland Campus

This guide is designed to support student research and writing in ENGCMP 0420 Writing for the Public class.

How Do I...

Find sources for my research?

Starting your research can be tough, but these pages can help you along the way. If you're stuck at any point, talk to a librarian. Librarians can save you time and work by pointing you toward the best source of information for your topic.

Identify scholarly information?

Find article on a topic?

The ULS has access to millions of full-text articles online through the ULS Databases.

Get help with writing and citing sources?

Choosing Your Topic

Select a topic that interests you. This statement seems obvious, but if you're researching something that doesn't interest you, you probably won't give it the same thought or effort as you would a topic that intellectually engages you.


Focus Your Topic. Many researchers find this to be one of the toughest parts of research. Often a researcher's initial topic may be too broad or general. Concept Mapping is a graphic method of "mapping" out a complex topic and its different facets. Think of an image of a wheel with several spokes coming from a central hub. Place your main topic in the hub. Think about the different issues or aspects of your topic, and write one aspect or issue at the end of each spoke. This exercise can help you select which issues or aspects you address within your report.


Browse the Literature. Do some initial research on your topic to get a sense of what issues or challenges are wrapped up in your topic. Start with basic reference sources like encyclopedias, and browse the magazine or journal literature to get a sense of your subject. This initial review of information can also help you select useful search terms.

Liaison Librarian

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Robin Kear
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