Research 101 Tutorial & Notebook
Welcome to Kennedy Library! The Research 101 Tutorial & Notebook will help you get started with your research assignment. As you complete the notebook, you’ll practice how to:
-Brainstorm ideas and organize those ideas into a research topic,
-Generate a list of keywords that you can use when searching for sources on your topic,
-Conduct an effective search in a database
You will receive a copy of your submission with your email address below.
Name of your English/COMS Professor
Leslie St. John
Patrikya (PK) Kuznetsoff
Other (Only if your English/COMS professor is not listed above)
1. Research 101 Tutorial: http://bit.ly/lib-101
The Research 101 Tutorial is a self-guided tutorial that covers key research skills and search tools available at Kennedy Library. Use the Tutorial to help you with the research steps outlined in this Notebook.
2. Your Research Topic
Topic: I am researching...
Because I want to find out what/why/how...
Pro Tip: Gather authoritative background information to explore your topic
A natural starting point is Google to gather basic information about your topic, whether it's Wikipedia, websites, and news sites. Kennedy Library also has paid access to authoritative subject-encyclopedias and handbooks. Try out the library databases listed here to understand an issue more fully and to explore ideas if you are still deciding on a topic.
Very Short Introductions:
Gale Virtual Reference Library:
3. Keywords (search terms)
Keywords are the words, phrases, and terms we use to describe the main concepts, ideas, people, events, and issues we are researching. Figuring out what keywords to use is a critical step to find information. When you're developing keywords, you need to think about how to describe what you are looking for, and what words other people (and library databases) might be using to talk about your topic. Developing a range of keywords will help you cast a wider net when you search for information about your topic.
Tip: Use Google to look up definitions of terms.
What are the keywords (key concepts) of your topic:
What are related keywords (synonyms, broader terms, narrower terms, other terms):
4. Find Sources using OneSearch and Library Databases
Now that you've spent some time gathering basic information and generating a good variety of keywords, it's time to select the right databases for your research project. This is the stage in the research process where you start digging into your topic. Remember, research is a process of inquiry. You may change your topic or thesis as you discover more information. That's okay! Allow yourself the time and curiosity to see where the public and scholarly "conversation" takes you.
Kennedy Library has over 180 databases to choose from depending on your topic. Each database will contain a different collection of sources. Pro Tip: Article databases will have lots of filters to help you find what you need. Use them!
- OneSearch (Kennedy Library's most comprehensive search engine for articles, books, and ebooks):
- Academic Search Premier (covers a range of subjects and popular and scholarly sources):
- A Subject-Specific Database on your topic:
You Try! Best Sources Found
What have you found so far that looks promising? Watch the video to learn some strategies to efficiently skim and read scholarly articles as you research.
Watch the video: How to skim scholarly articles effectively
Article # 1
Article #1 Citation (copy and paste citation from the database)
Article # 2
Article #2 Citation (copy and paste citation from the database)
In a paragraph or two, write a little about the research you've found and how you intend to use it in your paper/speech/project.
Reflect on your research progress so far.
Overall, are you happy with the sources you’ve found so far? Why or why not?
How do you feel about your research progress so far? What went well?
Where did you run into trouble? What was challenging?
We'll see you at the Library Research Workshop. Bring your questions!
A copy of your responses will be emailed to the address you provided.
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