Skip to Main Content

ENG 102: English Composition II

This guide includes research tips and resources for Composition II students. Recommended resources include search databases, journals, e-books, webpages, and citation guides.

How to use this guide

Welcome to ENG 102 research guide. This guide will provide you information that will help you with the research assignments in the ENG 102 class.

This guide is divided into the following sections: 

  • Finding Books & E-Books: This search function will direct you towards books in the library or E-books that relate to your research topic.
  • Finding Articles and online databases: This page will show you various articles and other tools that will help you choose and research topics for this class. 
  • Cite & Evaluate: This resource provides guidelines on the best research practices.
  • Interlibrary Loan: This is a service provided to FHSU faculty, staff, and students who need access research materials that are not owned by Forsyth Library.
  • Help: Get information on connecting to library databases or contact information for your librarian.

How to Form a Topic

A topic is a general inquiry you are interested in answering. It is not a statement, but a question. 

Examples: How do gender expectations influence what hobbies we develop? How does social media impact the American perception of genderqueer identities? Why are women at a greater risk of sexual violence and exploitation?

 Steps to formulate a topic:

Read your assignment and note any requirements.

  • Is there a required page length?
  • How many sources do you need?
  • Does the paper have to be in a specific format like APA?
  • Are there any listed goals for the topic, such as synthesizing different opinions, or applying a theory to a real-life example?

Formulate a general idea.

  • Look at your syllabus or course schedule for broad topic ideas.
  • Think about reading assignments or class lectures that you found interesting.
  • Talk with your professor or a librarian. 
  • Check out social media and see what has been trending that is related to your course. 
  • Read and watch the news to see if there is anything going on related to your course. 

Do some background research on your general idea.

  • Read an encyclopedia entry.
  • See what your course notes and textbook say about the subject.
  • Google it. 

Mind map it.

  • Video on how to do a mind map. 

Write out your topic question & reread the assignment criteria.

  • Can you answer your question well in the number of pages required? 
  • Does your topic still meet the requirements of the paper? Ex: is the question still about the sociology of gender studies and women?
  • Is the topic too narrow to find research?