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Introduction to Library Research


Research can be overwhelming!  Browse this guide using the tabs on the left, for helpful tips that will save you time and make the process a bit more manageable. Remember also, to contact us via Ask, email or by booking a research consultation if you need help.


Before you start...

A research question or topic can seem overwhelming so take a few moments to think about your assignment before you go searching for sources.  The following are some first steps to take:

  • Read your assignment over closely to really understand what you have to do. Is your paper 5 pages or 15? Is your topic broad or narrow? Will books or journal articles be more suitable for this topic? Maybe you need both! If you have any questions about the assignment, now is the time to ask your professor or TA for some clarification.
  • Start brainstorming keywords. Whether you are searching for books, articles, or data, good and varied keywords will help you in your searching.
  • Start your research with a guide. There is one for each subject offered at Lakehead and these will lead you to background sources, article databases, etc.
  • Keep track of your sources. Zotero can help with this step. You can sort your citations into folders and find them when you need them (like the night before when you are writing your paper!).
  • Ask for help. Book a research consultation with your liaison librarian.