Use library resources to search for the articles, books, and other sources of information that you need.
Keep in mind the assigned length of the research paper, project, bibliography or other research assignment. Be aware of the depth of coverage needed and the due date. These important factors may help you decide how much and when you will modify your topic. You instructor will probably provide specific requirements, if not the table below may provide a rough guide:
|Length of Research Paper or Project||Suggested Guidelines for Approximate Number and Types of Sources Needed|
|1 - 2 pages||2 - 3 magazine articles, encyclopedia entries, or websites|
|3 - 5 pages||4 - 8 sources including books, articles (scholarly or popular), and websites|
|Annotated Bibliography||6 - 15 sources including books, scholarly articles, websites, etc.|
|10 - 15 pages||12 - 20 sources including books, scholarly articles, websites, etc.|
As you are searching, it's a good idea to keep track of what you find. Here are some suggestions.
You will often begin with a word, develop a more focused interest in an aspect of something related to that word, then begin to have questions about the topic. Questions without a yes/no answer are typically better starting points for research questions. How? Why? What? Who?
Ideas = Frank Lloyd Wright
Research Question = How has Frank Lloyd Wright influenced modern architecture?
Focused Research Question = What design principles used by Frank Lloyd Wright are common in contemporary homes?
The following resources search over almost all of the library's journal articles, book, ebook, films, and other resources. They are good places to start searching if you are not sure what journals or subject specific databases will have the information you need.
We have many databases that are specific to a particular topic or field of study. The go-to for nursing student is CINAHL. For psychology majors, it's PsychINFO. Engineers uses IEEEXplore.
For more databases for a specific academic subject try our Research Subject Guides.
Our YouTube channel has many video tutorials on searching the library databases for article and other sources of information.