Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Prof. Graciano - English 101 - Fall 2018: Getting Started - Background Information and Narrowing your focus

Use this guide to access recommended resources and citation aides for Prof. Graciano's English 101 writing assignments.

Find Resources

Search Articles + Books/E-Books & Media in the library collection:

Advanced Search | Database Collections by SUBJECT | Database Collections A to Z

Search for Books/E-Books, DVDs, and Print Periodicals in the library collection:

Advanced Search | Library Account Login | ILLIAD/Interlibrary Loan | Other Libraries

Browse by name (e.g. Academic Search Complete):


Use this search box to determine whether a course textbook is available on reserve:


Advanced Search  |  What Is Textbook Reserves?

Search: Library Publications
Aerospace Sciences
Agriculture & Agribusiness
Applied Sciences
Arts & Entertainment

Browse Periodicals by Discipline

Select a subject to view available guides:

Background Research - Encyclopedias, Dictionary Definitions, Handbooks, Textbook Information


  • Words or phrases that are specific to your topic.
  • Major ideas related to your topic
  • People places, time periods that are relevant to your topic
  • Additional readings on your topic
  • Information that answers basic information on your topic (5 W's)

Dual Purpose: Background & Secondary Research


  • Further focus your topic and perspective
  • Find leads on Experts, Organizations, and Academics studying your topic
  • Access Secondary Sources and Academic Research

Developing Research Questions

As you start  reading about topic you should start thinking of questions you want to answer with your research. 

Your questions should include the "Who, What, Where, When, How and Whys" of a topic.  At the start of research they should ask very general question about your topic such: The first set of databaes should provide answer to basic questions on your topic (such as bullying) such as

What is _________?

Where does it take place?

Who is affected by _____________?

As you read more about your topic you question should get more specific  your question should get more specific

 What are the causes of ________________?

What are the effects of ________________?

What are the “pro” arguments about_______________?

What are the “con” arguments about ______________?

What should be done about ______________?

These questions will help guide you as you complete your research and form the content of your speech. 

Celebrating 75 Years of Excellence!

Westchester Community College provides accessible, high quality and affordable education to meet the needs of our diverse community. We are committed to student success, academic excellence, workforce development, economic development and lifelong learning.

Facebook Facebook Facebook Facebook Facebook

75 Grasslands Road
Valhalla, NY 10595
Tel: (914) 606-6600