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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.
Annotated bibliography resources
Annotated bibliography tip sheet
This sheet helps you to understand what an annotated bibliography is, explains your job as a researcher as your compile it, and gives some helpful questions to consider along the way.
Annotated bibliography worksheet
This worksheet is designed to help you ask and answer questions as you're reading each document that you're considering. It also gives you some practice distilling that information down into a brief summary.
Writing an Abstract for Your Research Paper
This page explains the definition and purpose of an abstract, advice about what to include and when to write the abstract for your paper, as well as solid examples of abstracts from the social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences disciplines.
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.