Research needs and requirements vary with each assignment, project, or paper. There is no "right" way to conduct research but some methods and skills can make your research efforts more efficient and effective.
State your topic idea as a question. For example, if you are interested in finding out about Title IX (Title Nine) and women athletes in college athletic programs, you might pose the question, "How did Title IX impact women athletes in college athletic programs?"
Identify the main concepts or keywords in your question. These are potential search terms. In this case they are "title ix," "women," "athletes," and "college athletic programs".
Before you commit to a research topic:
This can be particularly important if you are planning on using data in your research. If in doubt, ask your professor.
If you are finding too much information and too many sources, narrow your topic. For example: "women and athletes and college and athletics". Finding too little information may indicate that you need to broaden your topic by using a more general term or terms in your search.
Keyword Search is "default" search. Keywords and terms describe the subject or topic you are researching. It is usually less precise but so the results are broad. It is useful when the information you want is flexible or is a new topic to you.
Subject Search looks for words in the Subject field. Subject searching is a good strategy for topics that are well-defined, and have a lot written about them.
More Search Tips
From the search box on the Library homepage find exactly what you are looking for.
Check the result record for...
The results list could have more than one million hits. To find the right result use the "limiters" on the left side
Visit our Primo Quick Start Guide to learn navigation and features.
Databases have information, specialized products, and services that are unavailable by using the two search boxes described above. To see what is available navigate to resources>>databases>>all.
The Citation Styles and Tools page can help you cite the information in your assignments and projects.