|Reference Sources||Journal Articles||Books||Web||Citing Your Sources||Your Comments|
The purpose of this course research guide is to acquaint you with some of the resources in the University Library and on the World Wide Web useful for doing research for your papers. 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.
Sources in the Library's Reference Collection and similar sources online are a great place to start your research. They'll provide background information on your topic and can help you find brief factual information quickly. As you explore these sources, write down words that describe your topic. You'll be able to use these later when you search for articles and books. Also make a note of people and organizations related to your topic.
General encyclopedias look at many different subject areas. You've probably used this type of encyclopedia for research projects before and may even have one, for example the World Book, at home. Several general encyclopedias are located in the Reference area on the first floor. You might also want to try an online encyclopedia like:
Subject encyclopedias focus on specific subject areas. Below are a few examples of these encyclopedias. Ask at the Main Reference Desk on the first floor for assistance with finding a subject encyclopedia that is appropriate for your paper topic.
Each CQ Researcher (ASU) report focuses on a single topic related to social, economic, political, health, or environmental issues. They provide a chronological overview and detail recent developments and opposing viewpoints. Each includes a bibliography that can lead you to other sources of information on your topic.
You are already familiar with magazines and perhaps subscribe to a few of them. You may be less familiar with journals, which report the results of scholarly research. As you progress with your coursework, you will need to become acquainted with journals published in your major.
The best method for finding journal articles is to use one of the Library's online article databases. For additional information on the databases listed below and for others, explore our list of databases. Our databases are easily accessible 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).
Because of their length, books provide a more in-depth look at topics than articles do.
The World Wide Web is an outstanding but often bewildering source of information. Not everything you find there will be authoritative, accurate, and valid. Learning to evaluate what you find on the Web is important. Try searching one of these databases to find more reliable Web sites.
A copy of MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers is available at the Main Reference Desk on the first floor of the Library. You can also use Citation Machine, an interactive Web tool designed to make the proper crediting of information property easy to do and not a laborious task.
Please take a few minutes to let us know what you think about this guide. Has it helped with your research? Do you have any suggestions for improving the guide? You may e-mail Marsha V. Taylor (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call her at (334) 229-6839 with your comments and suggestions.
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