Getting Started with Research

We know that researching for the first time, or for the first time in a while, can be a little overwhelming with looming course deadlines. Here are some tips and links to help you get up to speed.

Finding Materials

The search bar on our home page is the place to start your search. Here you can conduct a broad search for almost everything, and you can use the left-hand drop down if you are looking for a specific type of item. You can also visit our Finding Library Materials page if you’re having a hard time finding something.

Looking for an article? The list below includes some of our most popular search databases, and you can visit our Library Databases for a list of all the databases we currently have available.

Searching with Keywords

The first step in searching a library database is to identify the main concepts or keywords for your research topic. Do not use your entire research question as your search query, as databases searches are not quite as capable as Google and any extra words might be problematic. Further, searching for keywords will help define your topic and focus your search.

Finding your Keywords

Here is an example of how to find keywords in your research question:

Research Question Example Keywords
Do video games encourage violence in children?
  • children
  • video games
  • violence

Tips for Using Keywords

You can combine these keywords to create a search query using the AND operator. (This does need to be capitalized)

Your search query would like something like this:

children AND video games AND violence

You should also try using synonyms or variations of your keywords. Instead of children, can you try: child, adolescent, youth, etc.