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ENGL 1010: Expository Writing: Background

Choosing a Topic -- Looking for Ideas

Specialized databases and websites explain issues within broader contexts and from differing viewpoints. This helps with understanding the "big picture" and can often help with forming ideas for narrowing topics.

Background Information -- Reference Collections

Need to look up a term, name, place, or event? Reference collections are great places to START the research process. Results are authoritative and trustworthy. Bonus--most include formatted citations at the bottom of each entry!

FREE New York Times Digital Subscription

Thanks to a university-wide subscription, you have access to all the articles, breaking news, blogs, multimedia and more from The New York TimesCreate a personal digital account using your MTSU email. Follow instructions in the confirmation email you receive (MTSU employees, make sure Proofpoint didn't quarantine the confirmation email).

Writing Center

The Writing Center is located in Walker Library, room 362. Visit or call 615-904-8237 to schedule an appointment.

Course Reserves

Textbooks, assigned readings, practice tests, etc. Items are for use within the library for short check-out periods. You can scan or photocopy important pages!

Group Study Rooms


Need to Reserve a Group Study Room? Just use online booking!


Many thanks to Karen Dearing for creating this guide.