ENGL 128 Research Writing: Science, Engineering and Business

This guide will help students complete research writing assignments for English 128.

Create a Concept Map of your Starting Topic

Start with Holman Library One Search 

Use Holman Library One Search to get a sense of the issues connected to your core topic.

If my starting topic is recycling and I know plastics recycling is one aspect I'm interested in, I can type in recycling AND plastics (see image) to find ideas to add to my concept map. One or more of them might become the focus for my essay, while other parts of the map may become sections of my paper. 

(click on image to enlarge)

one search

Some of the subtopics I find are as follows:
  • waste materials in construction
  • plastic waste feedstock recycling
  • recycling technologies
  • a history of recycling
  • biopolymers reuse and recycling
  • our dependence on plastics
  • plastics recycling in Gambia
  • plastics pollution
  • plastics and health issues
  • biodegradable plastic alternatives
Video Tutorial: Using One Search to Develop a Concept Map

Create a Concept Map of your Topic

Map out aspects of your topic. You can include specific aspects you know about or broad areas you need to know more about.

Getting Started

Sound strategies for starting a research project

This page is designed to help you begin to map out dimensions of your topic.

That serves a few different purposes.

  • It helps you refine and focus a topic that is too large for this essay.
  • It helps you identify aspects of your topic to address in your essay.
  • It helps you identify search terms, or keywords, that capture what you want to learn about. You will use those keywords to find info in library databases and on the Web. As you dive in, pay attention to the Subject Terms you find. You will try them too.
    • See the next page of this guide for more on keyword searching in databases and on the Web.

Keep in mind that research is a process. Topic and keyword mapping can help you at any stage of your research.