North Hall Library


ENG 1112

Welcome to the ENG 1112 Research Guide!

As you navigate your assignments for ENG 1112, feel free to take a look at the resources here to help you along the way. 

Topic Starters

As you're getting started, check out these two databases to get the scoop on different sides of hot/controversial topics: 

Evaluating your Sources with RADAR

There are multiple ways to evaluate sources, but one that we recommend is the RADAR method.

This stands for: 


These five areas can help you evaluate the quality and usefulness of your sources. 

For more information, check out the following link: 

Using Your Sources in Your Paper - ICE Method

Whether you're quoting, summarizing, or paraphrasing a source, you want to make sure that you're not just dumping it into your paper with no introduction and no explanation of how it ties in to your research.

When you're writing a research paper, your voice is the most important - don't be drowned out by a bunch of quotes. 

Use the ICE Method to help: 

I ntroduce the source using a "signal phrase" - this goes before the quote (or summary or paraphrase) and introduces who the author or organization is and where the source came from. 

C ite the source - this is where you put your quote, summary, or paraphrase. Make sure you add the correct in-text citation.

E xplain how this ties in to your paper/research in at least another sentence or two. 

picture of ice cubes

The Information Cycle

When you begin your research, you may find that you're not getting a lot of "scholarly," or peer-reviewed sources (also known as academic articles). This might be because your topic is too recent! The Information Cycle shows the timeline for when things are published related to an event. If you're not finding as many scholarly articles and books, consider broadening your topic a bit. 

Note for the sciences: In the sciences, research studies often go to a scholarly journal first and then to the news media (if they're published in the news.) 


The Information Cycle: An event happens. Immediately, it is available on the internet, television, and radio. Within a week, it is available in newspapers. Within a month it is available in popular magazines. All of these are considered fact-based sources. After a few months, you will see scholarly journals and government publications on the topic. At least a year later, books will be written on the topic. Years later, reference books, including encyclopedias, will be published including this topic. These later sources contain analysis about the event.

Annotated Bibliographies

When it comes to annotated bibliographies, you want to make sure that you have the correct citation of a source and then briefly summarize it and provide an evaluation of how it might be useful (or not useful) for your research. Check out this video for more information: 

Ask Your Librarian

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Citation Help

It is important to give credit where credit is due. If you use another person's words or ideas in your papers or projects, you must cite your sources.

Students often need help with citing sources, so here are some options to help you out:

Popular vs. Trade vs. Scholarly Publications

CRITERIA Popular Magazine Trade Publication Scholarly Journal


Anyone People who works in the field Academics, scholars, and those studying in the field
Author Journalists, staff writers, or freelance writers
Staff writers, industry specialists, or vender representatives
Experts or specialists (often PhD)
  • General interest
  • Popular culture
  • General news
  • Entertainment
  • Industry related news
  • Trends
  • Techniques
  • Product reviews
  • Statistical data
  • Upcoming events
  • Original research (e.g., scientific experiments, surveys, and research studies)
  • Critical analysis of topics relative to the profession
  • Charts, diagrams, and/or tables showing data or experiment results (often included)
Advertisements? Almost always and in high quantities Advertising almost always present; ads relate to relevant industry, trade, or organization Occasionally, but highly specialized and specific to scholarly discipline
Editorial Review Professional editors
Professional editors
Journal editorial board and peer reviewers
References/Works Cited? Rarely Sometimes Almost always

Works that are published by staff or freelance writers who do not have to have their work peer reviewed before publication. These can be useful for community perspectives or popular opinion as examples in a paper, though they should be supported by more scholarly evidence. 



Works that have gone through a more detailed approval process for publication - usually peer review for articles or through an editor at a University Press. Because they have gone through editors and/or peer review, these tend to be less likely to contain mistakes and are written by experts in the field for others researching in the same field.