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EGL 101-008 - David Jakalski - Fall 2022


Welcome to the your library research class!

My name is Marisa Walstrum and I am an Oakton Librarian at the Skokie campus. I'll be leading today's class and I am excited to hear about your research topics. Today in our session we will:

  1. Identify relevant keywords in order to conduct a basic search.

  2. Explain the various types of evidence available in journalistic sources.

  3. Use background sources to formulate specific questions about a research topic.

  4. Give credit to the original ideas of others through proper attribution and citation

To get help with your research project after this library session, or any time, make an appointment with an Oakton librarian. Let's get started!

Tips for Finding a Topic and Keywords

Your assignment is to write an argumentative essay responding to an issue related to postsecondary education in the United States

  • Pick a topic that you feel you could research or write about in detail:
    • not too broad
      • You'll know a topic is too broad when you are overwhelmed with information in your research 
      • Examples : "higher education" 
    • not too narrow
      • You'll know a topic is too narrow when you don't find enough information in your research
      • You also don't want to ask a yes/no question, but rather focus on an issue with multiple perspectives
    • just right! 
      • You will feel information is manageable
      • You will have multiple perspectives and a plethora of information in different resources (news, scholarly articles, data sets, reports, etc)
  • You will use your research question to formulate keywords 
    • Select the main ideas from your research question
    • Keyword terms should be specific, not general. Words like "aspects" or "effects" won't yield relevant results
    • Think of synonyms or related terms to broaden your search. Example: "higher education" OR "postsecondary education"

Brainstorming Topics

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