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 recent the information you use in a paper should be. This is commonly 5 or 10 years back depending on the discipline. 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 you want to learn about antioxidants. This is a very broad topic and you will find thousands of results. To narrow your topic, decide WHAT about your topic (in this example, what about antioxidants) you most interested in and add this to your search. For example, maybe you are interested in the health benefits of antioxidants, adding health benefits to your topic narrows the scope of what information you need to find. Narrowing your topic will both searching for resources and writing your paper much more easy.
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.