3. Using the Library
Finding books, articles, and other media in libraries—online and in person—is a basic step in building a research paper.
Using the library online
Starting with a general idea or a specific topic, you can search by keyword, author, title, and subject in databases and libraries to find resources.
Locate articles in a database using keywords
Using keyword searches, databases help you locate either the full text of articles or offer information for finding out more.
Understanding the sources available
Read, view, and listen to a full range of media as you seek information and create new knowledge during your research project.
Consult general and specialized reference works
Encyclopedias and bibliographies and other general and specialized reference works help you gain an overview of your subject and also locate useful sources.
Books are a rich source of information that you can access online via subscription collections or regional networks of libraries, and offline by simply walking into your campus library.
Find books using the library catalog
Reading the complete entry for a book in your library’s online catalog reveals how and where to find it as well as its relevance to your research project.
Published weekly, monthly, or quarterly, periodicals contain up-to-date information on fascinating subjects.
Consult general and subject-specific databases
Browsing subject headings and doing advanced searches of the library’s databases can help to focus early stages of research and later to uncover promising articles in your discipline.
Knowing what the librarian can help you with
Librarians are the most helpful people you’ll ever meet, and they know where everything is located in the library. Find out what other kinds of help they will gladly give you.
Seek out a librarian's help, online and in person
Reference and general librarians are available to help—often both in person and via the library site—if you know how to locate them.