About This Guide

This guide is designed to serve as a student resource to learn about research strategies and resources that will be useful when conducting research. We fully acknowledge that all student researchers come to college with a variety of previous research experience, all of it useful. Our goal, then, is to provide some starting points for student researchers who are just doing their first research project, or some advice to those that are stuck, or even a review for others.

For professors interested in using this guide, we recommend that you include this guide in your Sakai page or syllabus, in addition to the information about the librarian that works with your department, and that you encourage your students to use it as they begin to work on their research projects. This guide can also be used in your courses whenever questions comes up about how to conduct research in your course. For more guidance on how to use this guide in your courses, please reach out to the library team.

Getting Started with Research

This page will cover different types of information sources, how to choose a research topic, and tips on doing background research.

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Evaluating Sources

This page will cover definitions of disinformation and will provide methods for evaluating information sources.

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Research Strategies

This page covers strategies for developing research questions, identifying main concepts in research questions, and creating search queries.

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Using Library Resources

Consult this section to learn about the features of some of the most popular databases, like EBSCO and JSTOR.

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Citing Sources

This page will cover information related to how and why we cite, and provide information about various citation styles and citation tools.

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Additional Assistance

If the information in this guide is not enough to answer your question, head here to learn how to contact your librarian for more assistance.

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How to use this guide

First of all, if you have any last minute questions about any research project, we recommend that you consult with a librarian as this guide will only provide general research guidance.

Since this guide is not meant to be a guided walk-through of the research process, we advise that you identify the task that you have to complete (locating an article, evaluating sources of information, for example) and then consult any relevant information in the guide. If there are still questions after reading a particular section from this guide, please consult with your professor or any of the librarians.

What this guide will cover

This guide will cover the following:

  • Strategies useful when beginning your research
  • Strategies for evaluating sources of information
  • Various research strategies that can be used in library resources and on the web
  • Information about attribution/citation
  • Various search tips to use across different research resources (work in progress)
  • A glossary of terms (work in progress)
  • Information about how to use and navigate various research databases (work in progress)

What this guide won’t cover

This guide is not able to provide step-by-step advice about how to navigate research resources because the research process is not something that can be represented this way. Instead, this guide focuses on showcasing strategies that can help you develop habits of mind that can be utilized across research resources and databases.

If you would like to see something added to this guide, please contact Roberto Arteaga either by email or by scheduling a meeting with him.

Creative Commons License
This guide was developed by Roberto A. Arteaga and Julie Babka and is licensed, unless otherwise noted, under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Last modified: Apirl 28, 2023