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Are You An Information Literate Student?: Research Skills

How to Start Your Research

Librarians can help you develop your topic and research plan.  Find your liaison librarian below to schedule a free appointment to discuss your research.

The links below illustrate the steps in the research process.  Looking at one of the links can help you develop a research strategy for your assignment or research project.  You can also contact a librarian for help with research.

Background Information on your Topic

Background information can provide "background" or basic information on a topic.  Reading background information can help you understand the topic, locate additional resources, and provide keyword or search terms to help you find additional information.  

"Fake" News and Misinformation

It may be difficult to decide if something you read or hear on the news is true or fake or misinformation.  The links below provide ways to help you determine if the information you read or hear is viable.

Evaluating Sources

Before you include a source in your assignment, you should evaluate the source.  Is the information current or out-of-date?  Is the author an expert on the topic?  Is the article biased?  Taking a few minutes to evaluate a source can help you determine if the source is viable for your topic and assignment.  Need help evaluating sources?  Contact a librarian.

Peer Review

Peer Review is a process for evaluating the quality and information written in an article.  Peer Review refers to articles written for and published in scholarly journals.  The links below discuss the process.  If you have questions, contact a librarian.

Finding Sources for Assignments

Depending upon the requirements of your assignment, there are a variety of sources available for you to use.  Library resources are great for finding the information you need for research assignments.

Books are usually found in the library catalog.  You can also  use Amazon or Google to find book titles and check the library catalog to see if the library owns a copy.  A database titled WorldCat also has titles of books you can browse.  Books are great to use for background information on your topic.

Newspapers have up-to-date or current information. Newspapers can be found in the databases.  Their articles are shorter than books or scholarly articles.  Newspaper articles are not scholarly--but you can read a newspaper article to find "keywords" or search terms to use in the databases.  

Databases have a variety of popular and scholarly articles.  Databases also have interviews, studies, and a variety of other resources.  You can find databases on the library homepage.  Not sure how to use a database?  Ask a librarian for help.

Librarian for Communication; Multidisciplinary Studies; Political Science; Psychology; School of Criminology and Security Studies; and Social Work

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Karen Evans
Library 116

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

Wonder why you must cite sources? Confused about citing, paraphrasing, and exact quotes?

Check out the links below for help in understanding why you must cite sources and how to cite sources.

Have more questions?  Contact a librarian for assistance.