CAS Research


The library is in Room 407 and open 9:00am – 3:30pm Monday-Friday. It is closed Period 2.

Your librarian is Lissa Paulson (

I am available to help you to develop a research question, to find, evaluate, integrate, and cite sources for your PBATs and and LEAPs. Walk in or make an appointment.



CONNECT – What interests you the most about the class or internship? Drown yourself in the topic!! Watching as many videos on YouTube or Vimeo related to topic to increase your overall knowledge. Also check out the videos at Khan Academy and Crash Courses.  Use or adapt this helpful graphic organizer to organize your thinking.

WONDER – Now go deeper. What are the key players saying about your topic? What questions do YOU have? Look for patterns and relationships, cause and effectchanges over time, and how your topic affects different groups of people when you develop your thesis or hypothesis. You can use the inverted triangle to develop your research question.Then come up with a working answer which will be your hypothesis or thesis. It should change as you learn more. Use the key words in your question/answer to search for more information.

INVESTIGATE / FINDING & EVALUATING SOURCES  – You should use both PRIMARY or SECONDARY sources as evidence to support your thesis or prove your hypothesis. When taking notes, remember to record (1) the source–and where within that source you find it–so citation is easier later, (2) important facts and ideas that help build your argument, and (3) in a second column your own thoughts about those facts and ideas, including how and where they could fit into your essay. But first you have to figure out if it is reliable:

CONSTRUCT – How are you going to organize your ideas and your research?

Here is a graphic organizer for creating a literary essay and an argumentative essay.

What insights and connections have you had?

Are you including multiple perspectives or more than one point of view? Minorities? Immigrants? Global? Liberal sources? Conservative sources? Alternative Media sources?

What facts could someone use to discredit or counter your argument? Did you include that counter-argument?

If you are not writing an argumentative essay, how will you share your research? Are you going to tell it as a story or a narrative essay? Create an analogy and explain it? A documentary? A brochure? A slide show? An info-graphic?

EXPRESS – Now it is time to fine tune your research. Make sure your paragraphs have your own thinking as well as quoted or paraphrased information. Here is short video on how to cite information in a paper.

Do you need to cite your sources for your paper or project in MLA8  or APA?

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

SmartWords – Very helpful lists to use during the revision process


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

Social Studies

Pew Research Center – a nonpartisan fact tank that conducts polls, demographic research, media analysis and other research about the issues and ideas facing the United States – An educational site that examines both sides of controversial issues

Primary Sources – The Digital Public Library has created easy-to-use sets of primary sources organized by major groups, time periods, events in history, and historical novels.

Museum of the World – Interactive, multimedia timeline of world history — explore artifacts across every continent from Paleolithic to contemporary times.

Tools for Learning English or other Languages

Unite for Literacy – Simple texts that you can read in English while listening to the audio in your native language or in your target language