|Identify: Topic Development & Background Information||Access: Books, Periodicals & More In-Depth Information||Evaluate: C.R.A.A.P.||Create: Research Papers, Annotated Bibilographies & Other Research Assignments||Tips|
The purpose of this course research guide is to acquaint you with some of the resources in the University Library and online useful for doing research on your paper topic. Should you have questions, stop by the Reference Desk on the first floor. You may also call the Reference Desk at (334) 229-4110 during the hours the Library is open.
THE RESEARCH PROCESS
IDENTIFY your topic.
Brainstorm topics that you find interesting. Gather background to gain working knowledge of topic (databases, Wikipedia, encyclopedias, instructor).
Reference sources (i.e. encyclopedias and statistical reports) provide you with background information to give you an understanding of a topic. They can help also you develop a topic. Ask at the Main Reference Desk for assistance with finding other resources specific to your topic.
Databases allow you to find reference articles and background information on or off campus. Some of these databases include:
Once you've found general, background information on your topic and developed a research question it's time to find more in-depth information. One way is to find circulating books (books that you can check out). You can search the library catalog for books by doing a keyword search.
The best method for finding magazine, journal, and newspaper articles is to use one of the Library's online article databases. These are easily accessible in the residence halls and off- campus by clicking on the database name and typing in the information requested. If you need additional assistance with accessing the databases contact Cedric Davis (334) 229-6998 or Randy Curtis (334) 229-5604.
Try searching in these databases for your articles. To focus on scholarly articles, you can choose the Scholarly Journal checkbox in each database before you click search. Limit your search to full text only if you’re interested in finding articles that are immediately available.
Check your resources to ensure the currency, relevancy, authority, accuracy and purpose of the information.
Currency: What is the timeliness of the information? Are the links current?
Relevance: How does the information relate to your research question?
Authority: Who is the author/source/publisher/sponsor of the information?
Accuracy: How factual, reliable and correct is the content?
Purpose: What is the purpose of the information: to inform, to teach, to sell, to entertain, or to persuade?
Complete a draft of your research paper, project or research assignment. Seek feedback from your instructor, writing center etc. Revise, proofread and submit your work.
To focus on scholarly articles, you can choose the Scholarly/Peer-Reviewed Journal checkbox in each database before you hit search, or sort your results by Scholarly Journals once you have your list of results.
Limit your search to full text only if you’re interested in finding articles that are immediately available.
You can check out 15 circulating books for 4 weeks (28 days).
For further assistance, contact the ASU Library using any of the following information:
Course Research Guides | Information Literacy Program
Alabama State University | University Library & Learning Resources Center