How Do I Get Started?
- Choose a Topic: In order to pick a topic for your research you may want to consult your instructor, reference sources, articles and books. If you are unsure of a topic you could try the CQ Researcher for current controversial issues.
- Find Background Information: Start by using the reference sources of the Library to get an overview of your topic. Use this information to determine the terms to use when searching the library catalog and databases.
- Find Materials: Search the Library Catalog for Books. Search databases for articles. Databases are organized alphabetically and by broad subject headings.
- Evaluate Sources: You will want to use the best sources of information you can find. Several criteria should be kept in mind when selecting material including the credentials of the author, the currency of the item, and the objectivity of the source. Internet sources should be evaluated carefully, please consult the Evaluating Web Resources guide.
- Cite Sources: You will need citations for information used in your paper. Most professors will assign a citation style that they will expect you to follow in your paper. The library has copies of many style manuals including: Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association(APA), MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations (Turabian), and The Chicago Manual of Style. Ask at the Reference Desk for help finding the guide you need.
For Additional Help:
- Email a Librarian for simple informational requests. (Response will be via email.)
- Consult Library Tutorials.
- Request a Research Consultation with a Reference Librarian for help with in-depth informational needs.
- Browse Subject Guides designed to help Library users do research.