This guide is designed to assist you through the basics of the research process. To get started, choose one of the topics below. You can also use the left navigation to go directly to a particular section. Click here to access the library homepage.
For additional in-depth tips, also refer to the "Research & Writing" guide.
Why should you use this guide?
Be sure to give yourself plenty of time. The sooner you start your research the more time you will have to complete and review the paper prior to submitting it to your professor. If you wait too long, you may not have enough time to properly develop your topic or to choose a topic that interests you.
Some students (particularly those in your class) may need to use the same library materials as you; if you wait, it's possible the materials you need may be already checked-out to someone else. You want to be sure you have adequate time with the materials to get as much information as you need to complete your assignment, so get the materials you need as soon as you receive your assignment.
Research assignments will vary depending upon the program of study, the instructor, and the level of course-work. Your instructor will usually give you detailed instructions about the assignment, such as what information to include, the length and formatting of the paper (do not triple-space or/and use large fonts -- professors can tell!), what your research topic might be, etc., which is often found in the course syllabus. Knowing this information before you begin can save you from wasting time from the start. If you have questions about the assignment or are unclear about any aspect of your project, please talk with your professor before you begin.