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Use this guide to learn the steps of college research.
Last Updated: Sep 18, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Research Steps

Use this guide to help with your research assignment.

Each tabbed page focuses on one of the research steps.



Research Process

Steps of College Research

  1. Choose a topic.
       - Narrow or broaden the topic as needed.

  2. Identify the keywords for your research question.
       -  Before you begin searching, you'll need to locate the
          most important word to use.

  3. Find information.
       -  Use the online catalogs and article databases.

  4. Evaluate what you find.
       -  Evaluation includes criteria such as authority,
          accuracy, and lack of bias.

  5. Avoid plagiarism.
       -  Observe academic ethical standards.
       -  Keep track of what information from what source.
       -  Use our Plagiarism Guide.

  6. Cite accurately.
       -  Use our Citation Style Guides and other library

Article Databases

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.


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