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Library DIY: Getting Started

Introduction to Academic Research

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Getting Started

The thought of research can be overwhelming, but there are some steps you can take to ensure you make it through!

  1. Read your assignment for source guidelines. Some instructors will include the number of source or the types of sources you’re able to use. This will give you a good idea what source types you can stop worrying about! If you have any concerns about using a particular type of source, talk to your instructor.
  2. Start with the multidisciplinary academic databases. Spiva Library subscribes to many databases that are subject-specific, but also to Full Search. Full Search is a information discovery tool that searches many academic disciplines and will give you journal articles that touch many subjects. It’s a great to use as a starting point to get a general idea of what resources are available!
  3. Think about the different subjects that may touch your topic. A topic such as prevalence of drugs in suburbia may have research that focuses on the economic, social policy, law, criminal justice, sociology fields. Be sure to check those subject-specific databases, in addition to the general databases!
  4. Need some data or stats? Do you need specific numbers for your research assignment?  For example, are you looking for the number of endangered species found in the Amazon?

Full Search Guide

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