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Introduction to Research

Choose a topic

CQ Researcher and EDS Research Starters provide an over-view of topics of  high interest.

You can narrow your topic by focusing on a specific geographic region,  time period, person or population, cause, correlation or effect.

Finding books and articles

Find BOOKS using our library catalog. Search by author, title or topic using keyword or browse. Find ARTICLES using our databases. You may want to begin with our frequently used databases. EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS) searches the catalog and many of our databases simultaneously.

In either the catalog or bibliographic databases, you can refine your search using Boolean operators. Within the databases, you can limit the results by date, full text availability and other limiters specific to an individual database.

Criteria for Evaluating resources

You can evaluate electronic resources using the following test:

C-How Current is the work? Many academic disciplines concentrate on work done in the last 10 years. Those in technology and science may limit articles to the last 5 years.

R -Is the information Reliable? Does the information mesh with what you already know? Do at least two other sources corroborate the information? Is the argument presented logically and supported by evidence? Is the coverage of the topic complete?

A - Who is the Author? What credentials does he or she have?   Is his work referenced by others in the field? Does she reference others in the field?

P - What is the purpose of the work? Is it meant to inform or to entertain? Is it scholarly or popular? What is the philosophy or bias of the author or publisher? (Consult the “About Us” section of webpages for information.) Is the tone satirical? Who is the intended audience?

For more information:


Purdue OWL: Avoiding Plagiarism

>Safe Practices

>An Exercise

Citation Tools include both print and online sources for MLA, APA, Chicago and others.

Library Guides  are subject specific research guides.