Tip: Remember to check your assignment for the type of information you need and what sources to consult (books, articles, statistics, etc.).


Start with a simple search

If you start your search using all of your keywords you may end up with very few documents and possibly miss out on some pertinent information.

Make use of the database’s subject terms

Databases often have their own vocabulary. The terms may be called subject headings, subject terms, or subject descriptors.

Make these vocabularies work for you. They’re particularly useful when your results include too many irrelevant documents. Go to Using Subject Headings for more information.

Work smart

  • Always question what you find.

Is this what I need? Does it support my research thesis or my argument? Can I trust this information?

  • Note It!

Keep track of which quotes you want to use and what you would like to paraphrase. Make note of all the relevant information for each of your information sources: author, title, publishing information, page number, date, etc. Include where you found it: database name, library, or on the web.

  • Save It!

Save your document as you’re working on it. Make it a habit to save every 10 minutes and backup your document on a USB key or in an online storage space. Don’t lose all of your hard work to technical problems!


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