Getting Started with Your Research
You will need to perform research in order to write a well-supported paper. Research is a process of gathering information, analyzing your findings, and using what you have learned. One quick search of a single source will not provide you with all the credible information you need! In fact, you will need a strategy to help you locate and use information from appropriate resources. In other words, you will formulate a plan to perform your research in an orderly way. Sometimes, you will hit a dead end or need to reassess either your strategy or your topic. Thus, it is best to start your research as early as you can!
Basic Research Strategy
1. Choose your assignment topic
2. Find background information
3. Start to formulate a thesis
4. Identify what kind of information you need
Consider subject, time period, types of sources: primary? secondary? books? articles?
5. Identify where to look for the information you need
GIL-Find, GALILEO Discover, subject databases?
6. Develop a list of possible search terms
Identify key terms, think of synonyms or additional phrases,
write search statements using boolean operators.
7. Access library resources to locate books, journal articles, and/or credible web sources
Click HERE for GHC Libraries website
for access to GIL-Find, GALILEO, and more!
8. Use search skills to limit your search to relevant results
Use boolean operators and search limiters to narrow down results
9. Keep a search log
This will help you to keep from repeating searches;
you'll also know what combinations you haven't yet tried!
10. Record and cite your findings
Don't forget to use the citation tools in GALILEO and the subject databases!
11. Read and evaluate your materials
Do your sources support your thesis? Do you need more information?
12. If necessary, perform additional research