Use this guide to learn the steps of college research.
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2014
Use this guide to help with your research assignment.
Each tabbed page focuses on one of the research steps.
Steps of College Research
- Choose a topic.
- Narrow or broaden the topic as needed.
- Identify the keywords for your research question.
- Before you begin searching, you'll need to locate the
most important word to use.
- Find information.
- Use the online catalogs and article databases.
- Evaluate what you find.
- Evaluation includes criteria such as authority,
accuracy, and lack of bias.
- Avoid plagiarism.
- Observe academic ethical standards.
- Keep track of what information from what source.
- Use our Plagiarism Guide.
- Cite accurately.
- Use our Citation Style Guides and other library
Some Useful Databases
- MasterFile Premier
A general database providing access to magazine articles, rather than scholarly ones. Depending on your topic, this could be a good "starter" database.
- Academic Search Complete
Academic Search Complete is the first place to look for articles. It's the Google of article databases. If full-text for the article isn't available, use the Find It! link. Use the blue "Choose Databases" to access subject-specific databases.
- CQ Researcher
CQ Researcher explores a single "hot" topic in the news each week. Provides unbiased coverage of social trends, education, the environment, & technology. Show Me
- Opposing Viewpoints in Context
Use the Opposing Viewpoints in Context for finding information to support assignments such as argumentative or persuasive essays or speeches.
- LexisNexis Academic
Provides newspaper articles and editorials, Research areas include top news, general news topics, and news transcripts.