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Get started with research

Learn how to use the library resources to get started with your research.

Define your topic

The first step in defining your research topic is to confirm that you understand the instructions of your assignment or the purpose of your research. For example, is it an assigned topic, or can you choose? Are you required to use certain resources, such as peer-reviewed articles, or are sources like newspapers ok?  A well-defined research topic should be one for which you can find relevant information without being overwhelmed by the number of search results. While Google is a good place to start, the library has many additional resources that you may find are more useful and relevant to your topic.

The library’s Discovery search tool (located on the library homepage) will help you search our collection of books, journal articles, and videos, and will help you broadly explore your topic area. If you use Discovery to search for - children AND advertising - you may find too many results regarding all aspects of this topic. However, a search for - children AND advertising AND commercials - is more specific and focused. As you search, watch for terms that are similar to your keywords, to help you expand or refine your search.   Keep in mind your topic might change a bit as you do exploratory research. Just make sure you start your research early so you have time to revise and refine your topic as needed.

For more information, ask the library for assistance.