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ENVS 110: Environmental Sustainability

Pick A Topic

If you are stuck trying to decide on a topic for your paper, there are a few ways to generate ideas. 

  1. Scan newspaper headlines 
  2. Browse chapter titles in your textbook
  3. Check out what's trending 
  4. Use a Topic Idea Generator
  5. Use the "Browse Issues" section in the Opposing Viewpoints Database

How To Start

When you begin a research project, it is a good idea to take a moment to reflect on your prior knowledge of the topic area. How much do you already know about this topic? How confident are you in moving forward with this topic? 

In most cases, you will need to do a bit of research to get some general information on your topic. This general information will in turn help you generate keywords to use later when searching for resources to use in your paper. 

A great way to create this base is by conducting research in encyclopedias. Encyclopedias are arranged alphabetically and contain a general overview of a term or subject matter. 

 You can also access encyclopedias online through our reference databases like these: 

Locating Print Sources at Milne Library

Search & Discover provides sweeping access to books, ebooks, articles, movies, music, and more through a user-driven platform supporting your research interests. You can use Search & Discover without signing in. However, to access e-books, you will need to sign in when prompted.

There are two main ways to use Search & Discover.

Everything allows you to search simultaneously for books, ebooks, articles, movies, music, and more. You may use keywords, titles, authors, or phrases. Refine your results using the choices on the left. For example, if you want to discover the newest results then select Sort by. Explore Resource Type, also on the left, to get a sense of the various materials available to you.

Library Catalog is commonly used to search the physical collections of the James M. Milne Library, including ebooks, by an author’s name or a book’s title. You may also use keywords to search the library catalog, which contains the table of contents for many records. Subject headings are included in keyword searching and are assigned to all library catalog holdings.

While Everything and Library Catalog are two of the main searching functions in Search & Discover, there are others available for use. Child Collection, Course Reserves, EMC Media, NY State Collection, Reference, Special Collections (SCC), SUNY Catalog, and Young Adult (YA) are all options to choose from. These collections can be searched exclusively by selecting them in the top menu. For example, selecting Child Collection will include results only from that collection. 

Below you will see a video that explains how to use remote checkout to obtain physical materials from Milne Library.

Locating Online Resources

Electronic articles can be searched through our databases. There are some general databases and some subject specific databases. To access the databases, click on the database tab on the library homepage. You can then browse through them alphabetically, or browse by discipline (i.e., gender studies, history, etc.). 

These databases will search different types of articles. You may come across newspaper articles or academic articles. Each type serves a purpose and helps strengthen your research paper. See the document below labeled Types of Periodicals to learn more about the different types of articles you will encounter when searching databases. 

Below you will find a list of databases that will help you get started with your research. This list is not exhaustive. You will most likely need to use other databases to find articles depending on your topic. You can access the databases by clicking on the database link on the left hand side of the library homepage. You can then use the drop down menu to select different subjects to find relevant databases.