Education: Getting Started
Where to begin ....
Getting started is often the most challenging step in the research process. You may be asking yourself the following questions:
- What topic should I choose?
- What search terms will work best?
- Will there be enough information on my topic?
- Where do I go to get background information on my topic?
- Where do I get recent information?
- How do I know if my articles are scholarly?
- Can I use the Internet? How do I know if I'm getting "good" information that I can use in my research?
- How do I cite my sources?
Browsing the library's reference books, online catalog, and databases will help you select a topic and find search terms to use in conducting your research. You will also get a feeling for how much information is available on your topic and whether you need to broaden or narrow your focus.
Once you've settled on a topic, click on the tabs above for finding books/multimedia, finding articles/databases, and finding other resources (such as good, "safe" websites!). You can search for information right from this guide.
Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. To see an illustration of the research process, click on the down arrow to the right of the "Getting Started" tab above and select "The Research Process" for a visual representation of how research "flows."