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WRT 200 Argumentative Synthesis Project

Research Tool - Library Search Everything

Research Tools - Findings Books

  • E-Z Borrow (web gateway that allows simultaneous searching of over 60 academic library catalogs in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and West Virginia)

Research Tools - Databases

Use Library Guide to Find Appropriate Article Databases:

Library Research Guide

Research Tools - Google Scholar

Google Scholar (West Chester University Setup)
Google Scholar-> Settings (clicking three lines at the upper left corner)-> Library Links-> Search West Chester University-> Check the box -> Save; At the search result page, click find it @ WCU to access full-text article.

Business Librarian

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Grace Liu
Grace Liu, MBA, MSLIS
Business Librarian, Assistant Professor
T: 610-436-2917 |

Research Process

Develop A Good Research Question

Various Type of Information Sources


What are keywords?

Keywords are simply the words that you put in any search box.

Where do I get my keywords?

If your professor has you write your research topic out as either a thesis statement or a research question, that is a good starting point.  Look for the major nouns in the sentence.  Verbs and little words like pronouns, particles, and prepositions (the, a, they, to, on, of, it, about, etc.) are used so much that they don't add anything to your search.  The sentence below shows all those little words removed.

So from the sentence above, I would enter just the nouns hydraulic fracturing, contamination, and water.

What if I don't get great results?

The English language is very large and is full of synonyms and words/phrases that represent similar or overlapping concepts.  For example, instead of the word teens, an author might use any of the following:  teenagers, adolescents, young adults, or youth.

From the example above:

hydraulic fracturing could also be called fracking, and

contamination could be replaced with pollution.

Even changing a single word can have a great affect on your search results.  The Keywords video below shows this in action.

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