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Library 101 For Students: Research Steps

A short introduction to the CCBC Libraries

Research Steps

1. Research begins with questions.

  • What is the purpose of your research? Read the assignment carefully. Do you need to inform, persuade, entertain?
  • What is your topic or essential question?
  • What do you already know about the topic?
  • What are some keywords that describe the topic?
  • What are some related topics or sub-questions?

2. Develop your research plan.

  • When is the final product due? Create a timeline and don't wait until the last minute to do your research!
  • What type of final product will you create?     
  •  What type of information will you need?
  • How much information will you need?
  • Go from the general to the specific--find background information first and then find more detailed information.

3. Locate your information.

  • Where will you look for information? Books, Articles, Websites, Television, People?
  • Use the library catalog to find books, the library databases to find articles and carefully evaluate all websites you consider.
  • Keep track of all that you find using a research log.
  • Skim and scan the information that you find to identify relevant information.

4. Evaluate your information

  • Does the information answer your original questions?
  • Is the information accurate?
  • What is fact and what is opinion?
  • Is the information current?
  • What is the point of view of the author or publisher?
  • Ask yourself the questions: Who, What, Where, When, Why about each piece of information that you find.

5. Use your information

  • Create your presentation, paper, PowerPoint, speech, debate, etc.
  • Edit your work. Be sure that everything is spelled correctly.
  • Be sure that you have the correct number and type of sources.
  • Be sure that your final product meets the requirements of your assignment.
  • Cite your sources correctly. See the handouts on MLA 8, or APA style or click on the Citation Basics tab above.
  • Share what you have learned with your instructor and/or class.

The Research Process

You may be prompted to sign in, use your CCBC email and password.

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Research Steps

Library vocabulary diagram. Text description below.

Library Vocabulary

Library Vocabulary

Keywords - are the words you use to do research in a database. Instead of full-length sentences, break your question down into the words that contain the most meaning.

Source - Information comes in many different forms. Types of sources include newspapers, magazines, books, scholarly journals, websites, blogs, eBooks, etc.

Volume & Number -

The volume and number of an article helps the reader find where that article is published.

Example: Vol. 3, No. 7 – tells you that the source you are looking at is published in the 7th issue of the 3rd volume.

Credibility - To be credible, a source must contain information that is reliable and accurate or be written or created by a trustworthy author.

Database - A database is an online collection of information from print and media sources like newspapers, magazines, reference books, journals, and videos.

Scholarly/Peer Reviewed - Peer reviewed articles are articles that are written by an expert and then reviewed by a panel of others experts in the same field. This ensures that accurate and unbiased information is published.

Citation - A citation is the credit given to the source of an idea, information, or image. Any words, ideas, or images that you do not create yourself must be given credit if you use then in your work.

Relevance - To be relevant, the information in your source must be connected to your research question or topic. Keep in mind that even if a source is reliable it may not be relevant to your topic.

Information cycle diagram. Description is below in text.

Information Cycle

The Information Cycle:

How information is published -

Day of - Social Media, TV, Radio

Week of - Newspapers (NY Times, Wall Street Journal, etc.)

Week after - Popular Magazines (TIME, PopSci, National Geographic)

Months after - Academic and Scholarly Journals

Year or more after - Textbooks, reference materials

Topic Ideas

The Credible Hulk

found ON 2019-05-06 20:55:06 BY sizzle source: reddit