ENGL 128 Research Writing: Science, Engineering and Business

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

Online reference sources


Use the following online reference databases to find background information on English 128 research topics.

Example: Reading a reference article

Using Reference Articles

Use reference articles to understand the general view of what is happening with an issue, who is involved, and why there is debate over it. 

You can use important words or ideas (see the highlighted words in the example below) as keywords to build more focused or related searches.

(click on image to enlarge)

GVRL Global Warming reference article

Why Reference

Reference is a great place to start 
Read reference for:
  • background knowledge - the who, what, when, where, why, how's of a topic
  • terminology common to that field
  • an overview of the history of a subject or issues
  • leads to more information
  • reliable informtion. Unlike Wikipedia, you can see the academic authority of the author of the articles.

A reference collection is a set of encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other items that provide background information on a topic.

In college libraries, reference collections include specialized encyclopedias such as the Encyclopedia of Global Warming and Climate Change or the Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine.

Sample Reference: Science, Engineering & Technology

Academic Encyclopedias

Here's just a sampling of the library's electronic and print reference collection: