Skip to Main Content
Login to LibApps


Upward Bound

One Search Wide

Library One Search

Writing Help

Google Scholar

Google Scholar Search

Research Process

STEP 1: IDENTIFY AND DEVELOP YOUR TOPIC

SUMMARY: State your topic as a question. For example, if you are interested in finding out about self esteem in teenagers, you might pose the question, "What effect does use of Facebook use have on self esteem of High School students?" Identify the main concepts or keywords in your question.

 

STEP 2: FIND BACKGROUND INFORMATION

SUMMARY: Learn more about your topic by reading articles in encyclopedias. Note any interesting topics or information in the bibliographies at the end of the encyclopedia articles.

 

STEP 3: USE THE LIBRARY TO FIND BOOKS AND MEDIA

SUMMARY: Use guided keyword searching to find materials on your topic. Print or write down the citation (author, title,etc.) and the location information (call number and library). When you pull the book from the shelf, look at the bibliography for additional sources.

 

STEP 4: FIND ADDITIONAL INTERNET RESOURCES

 Nearly everyone is aware of and uses Google and its other services, Google ScholarGoogle BooksGoogle NewsYouTube, etc., to search and find information on the open Internet.

 

STEP 5: EVALUATE WHAT YOU FIND

SUMMARY: See Know Your SourcesIs It Scholarly?, and How to Identify Fake News in 10 Steps handouts for suggestions on evaluating the quality of the books, articles, and online sources you located.
Watch on YouTube: How to find citations and references and The Problem with Fake News

If you have found too many or too few sources, you may need to narrow or broaden your topic. If you get stuck, ask a librarian for help.

 

STEP 6: CITE WHAT YOU FIND 

Give credit where credit is due; cite your sources.

Citing or documenting the sources used in your research serves two purposes, it gives proper credit to the authors of the materials used, and it allows those who are reading your work to duplicate your research and locate the sources that you have listed as references. When other authors cite their sources properly, you can also use their research to help you with your own!

Knowingly representing the work of others as your own is plagiarism. Use the "plagiarism" tab in this guide to help you properly cite and avoid plagiarizing another persons work.

 

 

  • RESEARCH TIPS:

    WORK FROM THE GENERAL TO THE SPECIFIC.
    Find background information first, then use more specific and recent sources.
    RECORD WHAT YOU FIND AND WHERE YOU FOUND IT.
    Record the complete citation for each source you find; you may need it again later.
    TRANSLATE YOUR TOPIC INTO THE SUBJECT LANGUAGE OF DATABASES YOU USE.
    Check your topic words against a thesaurus or subject heading list.

Google vs. Library

The ASU Library acknowledges the twenty-two Native Nations that have inhabited this land for centuries. Arizona State University's four campuses are located in the Salt River Valley on ancestral territories of Indigenous peoples, including the Akimel O’odham (Pima) and Pee Posh (Maricopa) Indian Communities, whose care and keeping of these lands allows us to be here today. ASU Library acknowledges the sovereignty of these nations and seeks to foster an environment of success and possibility for Native American students and patrons. We are advocates for the incorporation of Indigenous knowledge systems and research methodologies within contemporary library practice. ASU Library welcomes members of the Akimel O’odham and Pee Posh, and all Native nations to the Library.