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Ask Us After Dark: Starting Your Research

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This page is an overview and includes navigational links to other guides with more information on the selected topics.  

Research Steps

Research is inquiry. Research is a scholarly conversation. Research is exploration. And research is a process. Most often you complete one step before moving onto the next. However, there may be times when you will need to return to a previous step or complete multiple steps simultaneously.  See the Undergraduate Guide to Research for more information.

Step 1. Develop Your Topic. Developing a good research question can sometimes be the most difficult part of the research process.

Step 2. Use Effective Search StrategiesWhat is a search term? Brainstorm for ideas.

Step 3. Find Credible Sources. Learn why library research databases are your best choice for college level research. Learn the difference between Popular and Scholarly Articles.

Step 4. Evaluating Sources How can you tell if a source is reliable and appropriate for your assignment?

More Research Resources

We have detailed online information to help you with any aspect of library research. But remember you can Ask Us if you need additional help. 

Finally, check out our listing of short classes and workshops. Classes are generally 30 mins to 1 hour.  Sign up for classes ranging from a general introduction to the library though database searching or citation management software.  We also have a self-paced Information Literacy class in Canvas.  Anyone affiliated with UK can sign up and take the brief class on your own.

Beginning Your Research

UK Libraries has a huge number of resources and it can be hard to know how to get started.  Be sure to look at our Research Guides to see if there is a Subject or Course Guide that will help you.  These guides can point you to the best resources for your research area or course assignment.  For example, check out these guides for WRD 110 and CIS 110.


Were you asked by your instructor to find Scholarly Articles?  You can find those in a number of databases and journals, but you might want to start with Academic Search Complete, which is a good general academic database:

Academic Search Complete
Limit Your Results

You can also find scholarly articles as well as books, DVDs and more in InfoKat Discovery, our new discovery system.  Use the search box below or on our website.  Be sure to check out the InfoKat Discovery Guide for help.


Finally, explore the complete Undergraduate Guide to Research for more help with the research process!