Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Library Research Process: A Tutorial


The Library Research Process

Research process diagram

Tutorial Overview -- Watch me first!

Get the most out of this tutorial by watching this brief video first. (2:33)

Overview: The Library Research Process

Writing papers for course assignments usually involves doing research in a library to gather supporting information. This tutorial will provide you some assistance in each step of the process. Here's an overview of what will be covered: 

Step 1: Develop Your Topic: Explore and Refine

  • Before you settle on a topic, it's a good idea to explore some background research first to develop it. The library is a great source for background information!
  • Once you've done some background research, it's time to narrow and refine your topic. Remember, the shorter your final paper, the narrower your topic needs to be.

Step 2: Find Sources: Tools and Suggestions

  • Use OneSearch to find books, articles, web sites and more!
  • Try the sources suggested by a librarian in this subject area.

Step 3: Search & Evaluate: Methods and CRAAP

  • After you've refined your topic, it's time to start looking for sources. Do you need books, articles, or something else?
  • Try the search methods suggested by a librarian for this subject area.
  • It's always a good idea to evaluate sources before using them in your assignment. Do you need to have scholarly sources or the most recent research? Use the CRAAP test!

Step 4: Write & Cite: Put it All Together

  • Pull everything together to share your argument and your evidence. Tie ideas from your sources together with your own thoughts and analysis to make a compelling case.
  • Use a style guide to format the paper's layout and source citations.
custom footer