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ENG 101: Prof. Payne's Classes: Step 3: Thesis- Driven Research

Research Your Thesis Statement

At this point, you have amassed a lot of information on your topic. You should have a clear thesis statement and you will need specific evidence to back-up your statement. It is possible that you already came across such information in step two. If so- congrats! If not, we have one more step to perform:

1. Go to the library homepage:

2. Look for "Find Books, Articles & Other Resources"

Find Books, Articles and Other Resources

This is a way to search multiple databases and our catalog of physical materials such as books and dvds all at once. It can produce thousands upon thousands of results- which can be overwhelming unless you have a focused topic.

3. Click on Advanced Search.

Advanced Search

4. Choose the type of materials that you would like to search by selecting a button in the "Search For" line, near the top of the page. "NCC Library" allows you to search both our print and most of our online database/articles at once. 


5. Enter relevant terms from your thesis. Remember, we never use full sentences in any of the databases!

enter relevant terms

Be specific- you need to find articles that will provide the evidence to support your thesis. In this example, my thesis is that social media damages the brains of teenagers and negatively impacts their development.

5. Scroll down and refine your results.Before you go through these results, look at the left side of the page. You should limit the date range. You need accurate information- especially when dealing with technology! You should also limit your results to full text to make sure you are shown articles that you can access immediately.

refine your results



Poor Results?

Unhappy with the results of your search? Don't be discouraged! Finding articles is easy but finding the right articles is the hard part.

Remember that this is not a Google search- ask yourself the following:

  • Did I use relevant search terms instead of sentences?
  • Is everything spelled correctly?
  • Did I try synonyms for my terms? (i.e. intellect instead of brain, youth instead of kids, etc.)
  • Am I being too specific? (i.e. using Facebook as a search term instead of social media)

Still having trouble? Consult a librarian! We are happy to help!