CAS Research


We are in Room 407 and open 9:00am – 3:30pm Monday-Friday. Your librarians are Mingzhu Chen ( and Lissa Paulson ( We are available to help you to find books to read for pleasure, and to find, evaluate, integrate, and cite sources for your portfolio pieces and LEAPs.



CONNECT – What interests you the most about the topic or internship? Use or adapt this helpful graphic organizer to start thinking.

WONDER – What exactly do you want to know? Refine your research question and develop an hypothesis or thesis. Look forpatterns and relationshipscause and effectchanges over time, and different groups of people when you develop your thesis or hypothesis.

INVESTIGATE – You should use both PRIMARY or SECONDARY sources as evidence to support your thesis or prove your hypothesis.

CONSTRUCT – How are you going to organize your information? What insights have you had? Does your evidence prove your thesis? How could someone discredit your argument (that is your counterargument)? Are you going to tell it as a story? Create an analogy and explain it? Persuade using targeted evidence? How are you going to present your research? As a research paper? A documentary? A brochure? A slide show? An infographic?

EXPRESS – Now it is time to communicate with your audience. How are you going to cite your sources correctly using MLA8 format? Here is a short video on inline citations (within your paper) and MLA8 example of a works cited page. EasyBib will help you turn a link into a citation (The most important parts of any citation are the what & the who: What kind of source is it? Who created it? What is the title?)

REFLECT – What new questions do you have now about your topic? What did you learn using the inquiry process? What will you differently next time?


AGGREGATORS  (as in, can’t find these sources by using Google as your search engine)

DOAJ – Directory of Open Access Journals, the first of these three to form as way to give free access to peer-reviewed scholarly articles.

Paperity – Open access journals and papers in every subject.

Jurn – Open access journal articles in Arts, Nature, Humanities, Medical, Law, Business and Science.

Why not just use Google Scholar? Or Google?

By searching Google, you sometimes have to pay for an article you want. You will get results from questionable journals that even fool Harvard researchers. You will also get streams of unwanted results when what you are looking for is a scholarly, peer-reviewed source. JURN and Paperity are indexed and are best for recent articles. For articles published before the 1990s, it is best to use JSTOR (available at CUNY or at a NYPL branch) or one of the Gale databases (see below).


Grolier Encyclopedia – Online encyclopedia (username: novel79 password: novel)

List of all Gale Databases –  Since these are state-funded resources, to access them at home, you may have to use the password empirelink, or the links from the New York, Queens, or Brooklyn Public Library along with your library card bar code number and PIN (2012). Here are some individual ones:



Teen Health – Government site with a lot of easy-to-digest articles about teen health issues and diseases

Science Blogs – Interesting and timely topics

Science Daily – Science news site

Science Buddies – Ideas and graphic organizers for doing science research projects


CUNY Write Site – Lots of tutorials, guides on essay writing and grammar.

Literary essay – List of comparison essay topics comparing two works of literature

What makes a good literature paper? – Good advice from Purdue University Writing Center

My Shakespeare – Jump into interactive, audio versions of his most famous plays


Math in Daily Life – Use interactives for your Math portfolio piece and learn how math is embedded in everyday life The World of Online Math – Covers all high school mathematics topics



American Studies

Global Studies