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Research is not as linear as you may think. As you find yourself discovering new information, your research question or hypothesis may change, and that's OK! Here are the basic steps involved in writing a research paper; the percentages hint at the effort/time required of each step, but this can vary depending on your topic. Remember that the beginning part of your research is likely to be the most difficult. Librarians are standing by to help!
1. Identify a topic - 5%
2. Brainstorm - 10%
3. Gather background information - 15%
4. Focus your research - 30%
5. Write your paper - 40%
What are keywords? I think they function a bit like tags. So you know that #jwu and #johnsonandwales will find you different sets of information, but they refer to the same thing. Keywords work kind of like this - you’ll want to explore synonyms or similar words that relate to your concept to make sure that your search is an effective one.
You will need to brainstorm a list of keywords in order to start your search. Include synonyms for each of the topics you want to search. This worksheet can help you plan your search. Once it is complete, use AND and OR to connect your keywords.
You can access all library databases here.
If you use the library's databases for your research, you can copy and paste pre-generated citations - look out for the option as it may appear differently in each interface but is generally represented by an icon of quotation marks.
Pro-Tip: Each team evaluates ONE of the following sources:
To take the Information Literacy Module, click here.