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ENGL 211C: English Composition (Lobo)

Getting Started

Welcome! This is your Library Guide for Professor Lobo's ENGL 211C class. Here you'll find the information that you need to help you conduct research for your Argumentative Essay and Annotated Bibliography assignments. If you need help, please contact me at

Start on this page with some general search strategies that can be used in any database!

Search Strategies


In most databases, you'll want to use keywords and not full sentences. For example, instead of searching for your topic: Should student loan debt be forgiven for everyone? you'll want to search for the main aspects of your topic. Sometimes the terminology that you use for a topic isn't what is used by a database, so you'll need to come up with some synonyms for your keywords. See the examples in the chart below!

"Student loan" Forgiveness
"Student debt" eliminate
"college debt" assistance



Putting quotation marks around your phrases is a simple strategy that can improve your search results. It tells the database that the phrase is more relevant than when the words appear separately in the resource.

"college cost"

"student loan"

"loan forgiveness"


Connectors, or "Boolean operators" tell the database how your search terms are related to each other. Most of the time you'll use AND to connect your keywords.

"student debt" AND forgiveness

Sometimes, you'll use OR to expand your results. When you do this, be sure to put your OR terms in parentheses.

("student debt" OR "student loans") AND forgiveness

Improving Your Search Results

Watch this short video to see the search strategies described above in action!

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