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Beginning Your Research
Research is a step-by-step process:
Step 1. Identify Your Topic
- Read your assignment carefully to make sure you know what you need to do to complete it.
- Talk to your professor if you are unsure about your topic.
- Make sure your topic is not too broad or too narrow.
- Most importantly, pick a topic you find interesting!
Step 2. Obtain Background Material on Your Topic
- Subject encyclopedias and other reference works can be useful in locating background information.
- Background on your topic can help you understand and refine your topic and find the best words to use in your searches.
Step 3. Find Books
- Use the "Search the Catalog" search box on the "Search Quest and the Catalog" tab to look for books in the library's collections.
- This will include the books on the shelves in Simpson Library as well as thousands of eBooks.
Step 4: Find Articles
- The library's discovery tool, Quest, allows you to search across many of the library's databases. The "Search Quest and the Catalog" tab has a search box for Quest.
Head of Special Collections & University Archives
Other Useful Guides
Citing Your Sources
- Don't forget that you will have to cite and document the sources you use.
- Both the library and the Writing Center can help you in citing resources correctly.
- Research guide with additional FSEM information
History & American Studies
- Zotero is software that helps you create citations and bibliographies. It's free and easy to use.