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ENG 112: Writing and Research in the Disciplines

This Research Guide provides information to help you complete discipline specific research in English 112 classes using resources from the CCCC libraries and online.

Scientific Review Paper: the Process

Take it step by step... 

Icon of a question mark1. Identify your research question.

What are some scientific issues making the news lately?  Perform a Google News searchlink will open in a new window for a trending science topic and find something that you'd like to learn more about.

*Helpful Hint: When turning a broad topic into a research question, use the words Why, How, Should and Could to brainstorm possible question ideas.

icon of a magnifying glass2. Search for Empirical Studies.

Before you can develop a thesis, you need to get an overview of your topic.  Search for your chosen topic in a science database like ProQuest Sciencelink will open in a new window or Science Directlink will open in a new window.

Get help searching in this guide's Develop Your Search Strategy sectionlink will open in a new window.

icon of a quill pen3. Develop Your Thesis.

First, collect and organize your empirical articles.

Next, look for possible relationships between the article, such as surprising contrasts or similarities.

Create a “working thesis” that presents your basic idea or argument.  Don't be afraid to revisit your thesis many times!

Icon of quote marks4. Create an annotated bibliography.

The English 111 LibGuide link will open in a new windowhas a step by step guide to creating an annotated bibliography.


Icon of gears used to illustrate the concept of synthesis5. Synthesize your findings.

How do all the empirical articles you've found fit together?  You will need to apply the scientific method to the findings of the articles to prove your own thesis.  Describe the data other researcher present in their articles, and apply your own analysis to prove your point.


If you need help with any step along the way, talk to your instructor or schedule an appointment with a Librarian using the button below.

Use the worksheet below to help you stay organized as you gather the empirical articles for your study:

Library Lingo

An image of quote marks.

Scientific Review: Secondary or review research papers summarize recent research conducted by other scientists on a topic. Reviews do not introduce new information.  Instead, they put the existing work together in a new way and interpret the findings, providing an overview or a new perspective.



An image of typed pages

Empirical Article: An article based on observation or experiment. The author writing the article actually performed the study or laboratory experiment that is being described.

Best Bets

What are the best Library Resources for this assignment?

Refining a Search in Science Direct

If you've conducted a search in Science DirectLink will open in a new window, but struggled to narrow that search to the best articles for your needs, try using filters.  This video from ElsevierLink will Open in a New Window, the publisher of Science Direct, will show you how! 

Check out this guide's Develop Your Search Strategy link will open in a new window section for more help.

A screen cap of the video "reviewing Search Results" from Elsevier, publishers of Science Direct.  Clicking on this image will open the video tutorial in a new window,


An image of a Question Mark to designate the "Help" box.Need a little extra help?

Contact your librarian. 

Or use the links below to get more in-depth help and information.