The research process begins when you begin to think about your topic. Write your research in the form of questions.
Background research and information may be helpful during this time.
Use these databases for background information
Narrow your topic before beginning to do research. This may require repeating the steps several times. If you narrow your topic too much, you may not get many results, while having too broad a topic will result in way too many results.
Think about your keywords. You may need to divide your topic into sections. Use synonyms and related terms. Using a mind map is an effective tool in identifying keywords and related terms.
Create your search terms using the following tips:
Decide what types of resources you need to determine where to search for that information.
To search for print books click here.
Watch the Video below for a student's perspective on using library databases.
Some recommended databases can be found here.
You will potentially need to search more than one database. Use subject terms to help you find more information. Narrow or broaden your search using the limiters available.
Can't find something? We can try to get it for you! Click here to learn about Interlibrary Loan and the LOUIS card.
This step is probably the most time consuming step in the process.
Evaluating information is especially important when completing academic research assignments in college because you will be evaluated on the quality of sources you use. The CRAP Test is a helpful tool to use when deciding if a source is high-quality and credible. CRAP stands for currency, reliability, authority and purpose. These are the four areas you'll consider when evaluating a source.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself as you go through the evaluation process.
Purpose/Point of View