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Research Help: Getting Started

Tips for researching effectively at your library.

Research Process - happens all the time!

         

Understand the assignment:    What is expected of me? How should I approach this? 

Do your research:  The library can help with this.  Collect different formats; books, articles.

Analyze and synthesize:  Read the information you have and think about it.  Make notes, outlines or whatever works for you.

Prepare and communicate the results: Begin writing your first draft. Walk away then come back and edit your paper.

Conduct a follow up:  Talk to your teacher about your grade.  What did you do wrong? or what did you do right?

Narrow your focus

How can I narrow my focus?

Start by identifying the main concepts in your topic. What 2-4 words or simple phrases are most important?

Keep it simple! Good search terms are usually one word (i.e., aeronautics) or one very simple phrase (i.e., global warming). Don't search sentences or long phrases all in one search box (i.e., effects of global warming, fast food industry in the US, etc.).

Take a look at your results. Are the articles useful? Did the words/phrases you used seem to get you what you need, or do you need to try some new terms instead?

Play around with your search terms. Even if you found good articles, you might be able to find more with new words. A great place to find other terms is in the abstracts.

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Time Saving Tips!

► Remember to understand your assignment first, if you know what is expected of you it will save you a lot of time.

► Keep a log of your work.  Keeping a list of keywords (good ones and bad ones) will be helpful as you work through your research.

► Narrow your topic. It is easy to get overwhelmed with information and sometimes it may help to narrow your topic.

► Use the resources you are paying for!  As an ERAU student you have access to amazing resources!  Take advantage of  them for they will help you both academically and professionally.