Getting Started

Unsure where to start with a research assignment? Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Pick a topic that interests you, is researchable, and fits your assignment needs.
  2. Create a research question to help you critically analyze your topic. Some background research on your topic may be needed to do so.
  3. Develop a search strategy using relevant databases, keywords, and database tools like Subject terms and date ranges.
  4. Review and evaluate search results. You'll likely have to do multiple searches to find everything you need.

Need help? Make an appointment with the Education Librarian.


Tips for Using Databases

  1. Select two to three keywords from your research question.
  2. Utilize Boolean Operators AND, OR, and NOT to connect your keywords.
  3. Narrow your search results using database limits, such as publication date, source type, and subject terms.
  4. Evaluate your search results. Too many? Add more specific keywords and/or database limits. Too few? Use broader or fewer keywords. You can also try searching in another database.
  5. Repeat. Research is a cycle; you will likely need to move through these steps more than once to find sources.