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Research Guides: Home

About Our Research Guides

Use the library's research guides to start your research for a specific class or discipline. 

Each guide contains:

  • Research tips specific to the discipline
  • Suggested library books
  • Journals and databases for your research (paid library databases)
  • Suggested websites (open internet)
  • The library's source evaluation rubric (SCARAB)
  • Citation resources

Click on a guide in the box below for to get started with research in your subject.

The Research Process
  1. Start with research question
  2. Identify key concepts from our question
  3. Identify keywords related to those concepts
  4. Choose your search tools
  5. Test your search
  6. Revise/refine your search

The image on the right may help you visualize the often circular nature of research. After your first database search, identify a source you think is helpful, then skim its abstract to look for additional keywords. Try your database search again with the new keywords. You may have to repeat these steps a few times.

Research is messy and rarely goes in a straight line!

Research Basics

For research in any subject, the following information will help you get started.

Research How-tos: Our Information Literacy tutorial explains the research process and offers help with search strategies and finding resources.    

Evaluating Sources: Our source evaluation rubric (SCARAB) helps you determine the quality of the sources you find for your research.  

Citing Sources: Our citation handouts help you create citations for your research papers.

     MLA 8th edition

     APA 7th edition (newest edition, updated 2019)




Research Tips

  • An effective search will return 20-500 results. Too few results? Your database search may have too many terms that are too narrow. Too many results will be overwhelming to sift through.
  • After a search, use the database's limiters to only show results that are full text and scholarly/peer reviewed
  • Use Boolean operators like AND, OR, or NOT.
  • Skim the abstract of a source you like for new keywords.
  • Look at the Works Cited page of a source you like for more sources that may be helpful to you.
  • Use the Subject Terms or Thesaurus feature of the database to help you find synonyms or database-approved keywords.

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