Researching, in a Nutshell
You have to be pretty flexible when doing research--sometimes you don't find what you're looking for and you have to reassess your strategy. But here's the basic cycle:
This guide will get you started!
Choosing Your Topic
If you're having trouble thinking up a topic that interests you, try these tools:
To do searches in the databases, you need to identify keywords that describe your topic.
To get in-depth and historical information about your topic, use books. The Pfau Library Catalog lists all the books this library owns.
Finding Scholarly Journal Articles
Look in scholarly journals for articles written by researchers about your topic. You will find reports of original research and in-depth analyses of issues.
Finding Magazine Articles
Look in magazines to find articles about popular topics and current events. Do not use magazine articles if your professor wants you to use scholarly sources.
Finding Newspaper Articles
Newspapers cover hard news and provide current information on local and regional events. Do not use newspaper articles if your professor wants you to use scholarly sources.
Not all information is reliable!
This tutorial explains how to evaluate information in books, articles, and websites:
Created by librarians at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Citing Your Sources
Do not use other people's words or ideas in your paper without giving them credit in your reference list.
Not sure what plagiarism is? View this tutorial from the University of Texas Libraries:
Your professor will tell you which citation style to use for your reference list.