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Library Skills for Students of English Composition

This is a basic library guide for students on how to find books, journal articles and other resources in Buley library for assignments and research papers.

What's in this Guide?

You have been asked to write a research paper for your English class.
Where do you begin?
How do you come up with the right topic?
Where can you find credible information about your topic?
Are there books or journal/newspaper articles on your topic?
What is an argumentative paper?
What is an annotated bibliography?
How do you cite your sources in the MLA style?
This guide will answer all of your questions. Proceed by clicking the relevant tabs on the top.

The contents of this guide are listed below:

  • Selecting a Topic
    • How to narrow your topic
    • Search terms for your topic
  • Using SouthernSearch to Find Books
    • Keyword and Subject Searches
    • Basic and Advanced Searching
    • Requesting books from a CSU library
  • Finding Journal Articles
    • General Databases
    • Subject Databases
  • Finding Journals in Buley Library
    • Types of Periodicals
    • How to Identify Types of Periodicals
  • Finding Newspaper Articles
  • Evaluating Web Resources
  • Citing Sources in the MLA format
  • Annotated Bibliography
  • Argument Essay
  • Library Quiz

Useful Information

Library Hours

One-on-One Instruction Request

Subject Librarians

Ask Us

Two scanners are available on the main floor of the library near the computers in the Reference desk area. A third scanner is available on the ground floor of Buley Library. Students can scan and send to their email, or save to USB. There is no charge for scanning but printing is 8 cents for double-sided and five cents for single-sided in black and white. Color printing is 25 cents single side and 40 cents for double-sided.