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How to Research A Topic

Use these steps to research a topic and document your sources.

STEP 1: Choose & Develop a Topic Select a topic, narrow or broaden it, and identify keywords to search for your topic.
STEP 2: Find Background Information Put your topic in context by looking in general information sources. Find major concepts and theories relating to the topic.
STEP 3: Find Books & Videos Use the library catalog to find books and videos (both in print and online) that relate to your topic.
STEP 4: Find Articles Use library databases to find articles. Learn the difference between scholarly and popular articles.
STEP 5: Evaluate Internet Sources Find information on the Internet relating to your topic. Evaluate the information for reliability and scholarly content.
STEP 6: Avoid Plagiarism Learn what plagiarism is, see examples, and acquire strategies for avoiding plagiarism in your papers.
STEP 7: Cite Your Sources Cite your print and electronic sources correctly in MLA, APA, and Turabian styles.