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Research Help

Starting Your Research

How to Narrow Your Topic: If your topic is too broad or vague you will find too much information and will need to narrow the focus.

How to Broaden Your Topic: Is your topic is too specific, specialized, or new?  It will be hard finding enough information to write your paper.

Keyword Searching: Keyword Searching looks for your search term in the author, article title, subject, and abstract fields.

Developing a Research Strategy: This planning helps to define your search topic clearly. It also helps to minimize the time spent searching the database for research articles on your topic.

Evaluating Your Sources

Selecting the Right Resources: Where’s the best place to look for different types of information?

Scholarly, Trade, and Popular Periodicals: A periodical is a publication that comes out periodically—that is, daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or at some other interval. Learn to distinguish between Scholarly (academic peer-reviewed) works, Trade Publications, and Popular Magazines.

Primary versus Secondary Resources: The ability to distinguish between primary and secondary source material is essential.  This guide illustrates the degree to which the author of a piece is removed from the actual event being described

Evaluating Websites: Websites can be a valuable part of your research. However, how do you know what websites to use?

Locating Library Materials: You've done your research, you're ready to borrow materials.  Now where do you go?