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FYWB 1120: First Year Writing: New York City in Literature

About This Guide


In this guide, you'll find resources to help you with your research for First Year Writing: New York City in Literature

  • Resources to research background and contextual information on your topic and the approaches you might be bringing to your research 
  • Places to find books in print and online
  • Databases for locating articles, including scholarly and peer-reviewed articles
  • Resources for citing your sources and writing
  • Guidelines for getting required course texts for free via the Library
  • Resources for accessing library resources remotely

Please feel free to book an appointment with me on my calendar page, for further support with your research.


Image: England, William (ca. 1858). Shops on Broadway, New York. Scan from Ian Jeffrey: An American Journey – The Photography of William England. Prestel Verlag. Munich, London, New York 1999. Via Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain.


Choosing a Topic


It may feel really overwhelming to choose a research topic. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Choose a text and/or concept or problem that interests you. This can be your starting place---be prepared for this to change a bit as you develop your research!
  • Write down keywords and key phrases that relate to what you are interested in, and the questions you want to ask as you research. Think of alternative terms. If you want to visualize them spatially, start a concept map, or mind map. 
  • Research backgrounds and contexts, if you would like (see the Reference page some reference sources that can help with this). 
  • Use the words and phrases on your concept map in your searches across catalogs and databases. Try out different combinations!
  • As you begin to review the sources you have found, think about how you might want to develop the shape of your topic---by making it more specific, or broadening it, or approaching it differently than you did when you started.