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Education Library Resources and Help

Brief Introduction to Academic Research

When it comes to academic research, the goal is not to make you into a librarian. The goal is to help you develop the ability to search effectively, evaluate information critically, and use resources to support your work in an ethical manner. 

Step 1: Identifying Keywords

When searching in library catalogs or databases, you cannot simply type in your whole question. If you do, you will not get any or many results. Instead, you first need to identify the most important ideas or aspects of your topic. You will use those as your keywords to search for information about your topic. 

Step 2: Keyword Searching

Start by keyword searching. Use AND, OR, and NOT to show the relationship between the concepts you are researching.

Step 3: Now What? Working with Your Search Results

Step 4: Now What? Scanning Articles and Records

Planning and Reviewing your Search