Skip to Main Content

ENGL 101 - De La Cruz Sanchez - Spring 2024: Research Essay


English 101 Research Essay

Step One: Familiarize Yourself With Your Subject

Step 1: Familiarize Yourself with Your Subject with Background Reading

Begin your project by doing some background reading on your topic. Preliminary reading helps you do all the following: 

  • achieve a basic understanding of your problem
  • begin to identify interesting specific questions that will form the backbone of your research; and
  • start to acquire vital search terms you need in order to explore your subject more fully. 

Resources from MJC Databases - Background Reading

Access to Health Care/Health Care Disparity
Food Inequality/Poverty
Google Web Search

Dig Deeper with Academic Databases

Reports, Magazines, News, Academic Journals

Step Two: Find, Read, and Reflect on Your Sources

Step 2: Find Sources on the Topics You Identified in Step 1

  • Do a comprehensive search utilizing the sources above; leave no stone unturned
  • Print/save/email the sources you find as you go to avoid backtracking
  • Read your sources several times, highlighting relevant information and making notes as you go.
  • If you have trouble finding the appropriate type or number of sources: MEET WITH STELLA or ANY RESEARCH LIBRARIAN

Step Three: Start Writing a Draft

Step 3: Start Writing a Draft

  • Make an appointment with Writing Center staff at least once. They will help you get started, proceed, and/or finish. This is a free service that you should always utilize to maximize your success.
  • Utilize the MJC Library & Learning Center's FORMAT & CITE page to aid with MLA. A research librarian can provide face-to-face or Zoom assistance with formatting and citing as well. 

Meet Your Librarian

Profile Photo
Stella Beratlis
she, her, hers
Need help now? We have Research Drop-In Hours Monday - Saturday during Spring 2024: Go to the Ask a Librarian page to get immediate help.

My Research Help Schedule (In Person, West Campus L & LC. and Online Chat)
Mon - Weds 10-5 PM
Thurs - Fri: Call (2090575-6245) or email me at

Zoom Appointments Times vary. To see when I'm available and to schedule an appointment with me, simply click on the "Schedule Appointment" button above, then pick your date/time. If you do not see a day/time that works, please email me and we can arrange another time.
Website Skype Contact: beratliss

Login Here

Go to NoodleTools

Research Questions

You already have a pair of research questions to consider, as noted from the prompt: 

Would it benefit or harm someone to become more altruistic or egoistic? (individual focus) 

In what ways would being more altruistic or egoistic benefit society or harm it? (society focus)

Consider answering one or both of these questions as a single statement that is arguable. 

Popular, Substantive, Scholarly Information

Evaluating Sources

MLA Citation Style

Citation Examples

Citation Examples and Template:

 MLA Core ElementsEach citation in your list of works cited is composed of elements common to most works -- author, title, publication date, etc. These are called the MLA core elements. The core elements are assembled in a specific order as shown to the left.

Use the links below to see examples of source citations and practice using one of the templates.

If you don't find what you need below, check out the MLA's, Ask the MLA.


Citation Examples by Format: