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Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Required Text

Great Expectations (Print)

The book can be requested to be placed on hold and picked up at your nearest library location.

Research Project - Where to Start

What is a research paper?

A research paper should provide its writer and its reader with new knowledge and a new understanding of a specific topic.

What is the purpose of a research paper?

To write an effective research paper, one that makes an argument about your topic, you must review relevant resources and, using powers of analysis and integration, develop a paper that reveals understanding and original thinking. Your research paper is to give a better understanding of the topic chosen, evaluate sources and provide the reader with a general overview.


Bibliographic Essay - Where to Start

What is a Bibliographic Essay?

  • A bibliographic essay is a critical essay in which the writer identifies and evaluates the core works of research within a discipline or sub-discipline.

What is the purpose of a Bibliographic Essay?

  • A bibliographic essay is written to summarize and compare a number of sources on a single topic. The goal of this essay is not to prove anything about a subject, but rather to provide a general overview of the field. By looking through multiple books and articles, you can provide your reader with context for the subject you are studying, and recommend a few reputable sources on the topic.

Example of a Bibliographic Essay

Review: General Research

  • At this point, you should be familiar with the topic and are ready to dive in deeper to find answers to your research question and/or resources to support your thesis statement (and the various points in your argument). Before you take the keywords you've been listing, you should be conscious that there are many forms of information. Information found may have different purposes and logic. 
  • Part of the research process is to identify the type of information that is appropriate for your audience and the topic. As this is an academic project, you are expected to use academic-level of information, or what we call scholarly sources. They are generally books published by university press and articles published in academic and professional journals. They typically go through a rigorous editorial process, known as peer-review. 
  • Watch the videos embedded in this box for more information about the differences in information, the editorial process for scholarly information, ways to evaluate information, and identifying biases.

The chart below are points to consider when evaluating sources of information. Click on the CAPOW document icon to download the handout.


  • What is the publication date or last date updated?
  • Is the content timely, useful, and valid for your information need?






  • Who wrote the content?
  • What makes that individual author or organization qualified to write it? What other information about the author is included?
  • Who sponsored the content?





  • Is the purpose of the content to inform, to entertain, or to promote a product or service? 
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Does the information seem credible? If so, can you check the information against another resource (i.e. book, journal article, newspaper, etc.) for credibility?




  • Is content biased?
  • Are opinions balanced or does the author have an agenda?
  • How does the bias influence the information?


Writing Style




  • Does the information contain a bibliography, references, or a comprehensive list of sources supporting its theme, topic, or agenda?
  • Is content presented at an appropriate level for an academic research paper?
  • Does the supporting information fit your research need?
  • Is the work complete, or is it a summary of other work?




One of the most reliable sources for in-depth, scholarly, full-text articles.

Academic Search Complete

When you do not know where to start, start here. It's a multi-disciplinary full-text database.

Gale: Literature Resource Center

Provides researchers with library resources to support their literary responses, literary analysis, and thesis statements through a diversity of scholars and critics.

Project MUSE

Find authoritative humanities and social science journals from some of the worlds most distinguished universities.

Literary Reference Center

A literary database covering all genres and timeframes.

Gale: eBooks

Great reference books on arts, business, education, history, law, literature, sciences, and technology.

eBook Collection

Find books to read online or download to your device.

eBook Central

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