Do you have a research paper assignment and don't know where to begin? No problem! This page contains links to tutorials, handouts, and other tools to help you learn how to find the information you need.
Okay, so you're thinking, "Can't I just Google the information I need?" Of course you can! Google is awesome, but a library database is a different kind of research tool that can help you get access to reliable sources that may not be freely available on the web.
This brief video explains the advantages of library databases:
Not sure which databases to try? The Recommended Databases page will help you select the best resources for your research paper topics.
If you don't yet have a topic and need some ideas, these resources can help.
You've chosen a topic, but before you begin searching for sources, take some time to plan a strategy. The following resources can help.
Concept mapping can help you to identify key search terms for finding sources on your topic. It can also help you to organize your paper and decide what aspects of your topic you want to cover. You can brainstorm search terms related to your topic by simply writing them down, but if you want to take a more visual approach, you can start with this Concept Map Worksheet [PDF], or try one of the following concept mapping tools.
It's time to dive in and start searching for information on your topic. Here are some tips for searching more effectively.
There's so much information out there. How do you decide which sources to use for your research assignment? How do you know if the sources you've found are reliable? These links can help.
Librarians are available to assist you at your campus library Reference Desk or through the statewide Ask-a-Librarian service: Chat | Email | Text