Before you start searching in the library take a few moments to prepare. Ask yourself:
Do you need a book, a scholarly article, a magazine article? This may be determined in your assignment or you may have a general idea of the type of resource you need. Understanding what type of source you need will help you know where to search.
Often times your instructor may indicate how old the information you use in a paper should be. This is commonly 5 or 10 years back depending on the discipline. However, you might select a topic that necessitates a certain publication time. For example, if you are choosing speed climbing in the Olympics this is a very recent topic and you won't be able to find older (like 10-15 years old) information. Once you start searching, you can add the time period you want to limit your results to just the publication date range you need.
Know what you are researching is critical to being able to know when you find it! Let's say your topic is a specific exercise, a sport, or historical person, these could be very broad! You will want to identify some guiding questions to help your search or identify WHAT about that topic are you most interested in. For example, if you select basketball you will find thousands of results on your topic. By identifying what about basketball you most want to know (e.g. what is the history of the height of the basket?), your topic will become much more easy to research and write.
Typically when you go to the library to search for a book or information, you have in mind a topic or question that you want to answer.
Take a moment to identify what information you need. This will help you as you search the library.
Watch the following video to learn how to develop keywords from your research topic. Take a couple moments after the video to brainstorm and write down a few keywords on your topic.
Now you should have a couple of keywords written down. Watch the following video to understand how to get started searching with those keywords.