1 – Formulate Your Question 

Your research may start as a general idea or a specific question, statement or thesis.

2 – Get Background Information

Read about your topic using websites or encyclopedias. It introduces you to the topic, helps you to focus on its key elements and can help you decide to broaden or narrow your focus.

3 – Focus and Refine Your Topic

Think about how you want to approach your topic. Do you need to specify your topic or generalize it?

Can you limit your topic by time or place? Can you approach the topic from another perspective or lens?

4 – Research Tools

Ask yourself:

  • What types of materials do I need?
  • How recent should my materials be?
  • How long do I have to do my research?
  • What subjects are covered by my topic?

5 – Select Your Tool and Begin

Using your research question, choose a few keywords to begin searching with.

Use the library’s online resources to find journal articles, eBooks and videos.

Use the library catalog to find books,ebooks, periodicals or DVDs.

6 – Get Stuck, Get Help!

The Library is here to help you with your research questions.

Send us a Helpdesk ticket, stop by the Library, or email a Librarian.

7 – Gather Your Materials

Does the Library have the book or article or will you have to borrow it from Summit loans or ILL?

Check the library catalog for available materials.

8 – Evaluate Your Resources

Use the CRAAP test to evaluate sources.

9 – Stay organized 

Utilize citation managers in MS Word’s References tab, Zotero, EasyBib, etc.

10 – Write and Review Your Paper

Submit your writing assignment for review through the Online Writing HelpDesk.