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ENGL 101 - Wohlstadter - Increasing Self Awareness: Home

Use this guide to get started on the research part of Essay 3

Step 1: Understanding Well-Being

In order to research how your involvement in a topic that matters to you can connect to your well-being, you have to understand two things:

1) WHY your topic matters to you (which you will explore in the beginning paragraphs of your essay)

2) What are the factors that make up well-being? How can we categorize them?

One way to categorize well-being is divide it into types: emotional, intellectual, physical, social, environmental, financial, and spiritual. Many topics may involve more than one type of wellness. For example, a passion for playing soccer may involve physical, emotional, and social wellness.


graphic that demonstrates seven components of wellness

In addition to the categories of wellness in the Wellness Wheel above, here are some other thoughts on well-being from your instructor. Does your topic help you with any of the following?

  • Building self-esteem?
  • Feeling connected? 
  • Using your imagination? 
  • Feeling free?
  • Reducing stress?
  • Feeling a sense of control?
  • Challenging yourself? 
  • Learning new things? 
  • Being outdoors? 

Step 2: Identify search terms

When researching in library databases, SEARCH TERMS are crucial for getting good results. You will have to do some trial and error to find the best terms for your topic, but here are some ideas to get you started:

EMOTIONAL WELL-BEING: Mindfulness, Optimism, Self esteem, Gratitude, Vulnerability

INTELLECTUAL WELL-BEING: Curiosity, Life-long learning, Creativity

PHYSICAL WELL-BEING: Exercise and health, Nutrition, Sports and well-being

SOCIAL WELL-BEING: Interpersonal relations, Social networks, Social interactions and well-being

ENVIRONMENTAL WELL-BEING: Climactic changes, Climate change, Environmental justice, Environmental health, Home economics

FINANCIAL WELL-BEING: Financial literacy, Personal finance, Student debt, Credit card debt

SPIRITUAL WELL-BEING: Spirituality, Ethics, Conduct of Life

Step 3: Background Reading in Library Databases

Start with background reading on your broader topic and/or a type of well-being. In Gale eBooks, you can read overview articles on topics like:

Step 4: Find In-Depth Articles in Library Databases

Once you have some background information on an aspect of well-being, use search terms like these in EBSCOhost and Gale Databases for articles tying well-being to your topic:

  • sports and health
  • workplace well-being
  • "role-playing games" well-being
  • music and well-being
  • fathers well-being

For some topics, you will need expert help to find information in the library databases. Contact a librarian via chat, text, email, or appointment for this help.

Cite Your Sources

Here is a link to help on all things MLA: formatting your paper, citing your sources in text, and creating your Works Cited page.

One of the advantages to using library databases is that they provide accurate citations for every article. Look for the Cite tool on the page that displays your article, and be sure to select MLA as the style for your citation. Here's an example of an MLA citation for an article from our EBSCOhost databases:

Find Background Reading and In-Depth Information On the Web

Google is a great resource for quickly finding background information to help you expand your knowledge and thinking on a topic. It is not always a quick way to find credible in-depth sources for an academic essay, however. Any source you find on the Web must be thorougly evaluated for credibility before you can cite it in an academic paper. The CRAAP test is a good way to evaluate sources.

Tips for Using Google

Google is a good place to find statistics and very current information. Here's a video that shows you how to get more reliable results. Please note that the "Settings" link is now at the bottom of the Google Search page, not at the top as shown in this video, and that the Tools menu appears after you have started a search.

Get Help from a Librarian

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