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Here is a good, basic formula for getting started with your research:
- Begin by narrowing down your topic and developing an initial research question.
- Use the keyword brainstorming worksheet (or this online keyword generator) to help you tweak your research question, identify keywords and related terms, and keep track of what you find.
- Search in a library catalog (Summon, OBIS, OhioLINK and/or WorldCat) to find books and reference sources. These sources will:
- provide BACKGROUND and CONTEXT
- REVIEW and SUMMARIZE earlier work
- help you FOCUS your topic and
- provide CITATIONS to important books, journal articles, conference papers, interviews, etc.
- Next, search research databases to find articles. The library has hundreds of databases; those listed on this guide are good places to begin.
- You may also wish to use Google Scholar to search the Internet. This is a great tool for doing cited reference searches.
- Finally, use the CRAAP test worksheet to evaluate the sources you find.
Search approximately 300 million books, scholarly articles, newspaper articles, data, digital audio, digital video, digital images, government documents and more. It draws from the library catalog (OBIS), many of the full text and article indexing databases, as well as digital repositories from colleges, universities, research centers, and other open-access archives on the web.
Librarian / Research Help
Contact:Eboni A. Johnson (she/her/hers)
104 Mudd Center
(Mary Church Terrell Main Library)
- HOW DO I ….?
Watch these videos for advice & support on using library resources and doing research. Visit us at https://libraries.oberlin.edu/ to chat with us in real-time, schedule a research appointment, or send us an email message.