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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.
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