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Introduction to Library Research

This guide contains essential information on how to do college-level research.

Welcome to the Introduction to Library Research guide!

Use the menu on the left to get research advice that will help you successfully navigate the Libraries' print and electronic collections.

ABHE Outcome 3: Use analytical and research skills

Use analytical and research skills in locating, evaluating, and applying information for life and ministry.

ACRL Framework: Searching as Strategic Exploration

Match information needs and search strategies to appropriate search tools;

Design and refine needs and search strategies as necessary, based on search results;

Use different types of searching language (e.g., controlled vocabulary, keywords, natural language) appropriately;

Manage searching processes and results effectively

Getting Started

Depending on your topic and type of assignment, the resources you'll need for your research may include books from academic publishers, articles from scholarly journals, data and statistics, primary sources, articles from trade journals and popular publications, government documents, standards, images, music, videos, and more. All of these types of sources can be found at the Purdue Owl Research and Citation Resources.

When getting started on a research assignment, you'll first need to make sure you understand the scope of the project and your instructor's expectations. In addition to carefully reading any assignment prompts, directions, rubrics, etc., that your instructor has provided, you may also want to consult these tips and tools for specific research assignments and writing in particular fields.

Once you've familiarized yourself with the particulars of your assignment, you'll need to start thinking about a topic. If you're choosing your topic, the next section of this guide, Selecting a Topic, has helpful advice. If your topic has been decided, you can jump ahead to Search Strategies.

Before you dive into your research, make a time management plan to help you stay on track. The Ask Assignment Calculator by Study Hub (below) can be used to plan your research and writing.