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BIO 155: Starting Research

Introductory Biology Laboratory

Starting your Research

1. Develop a clearly-defined research topic

Select topic, Do background research if needed

2. Come up with a search strategy

Identify keywords, Select databases, Refine as needed

3. Find reliable and relevant sources

Choose appropriate source types for your need (journal, newspaper, or other article; book, website, etc.)

4. Critically evaluate the information

Primary vs. secondary, Scholarly vs. lay publication. Is it up-to-date and relevant to your topic?

5. Comply with professional & academic standards

Plagiarizing vs. paraphrasing, Citation styles, Creating bibliographies

Helpful Research Guides

Background Information

In order to develop a clearly defined research topic, you may need to do some background research.  It's also a good way to generate ideas for keywords! Your textbook is a good place to start.  Here are some other reliable sources for background information: