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Gates Memorial Library

Developing a Library Research Strategy


Student Researching

Library research begins when you need information to complete an academic assignment or for your own purposes. A research strategy is a plan of action that provides direction to your efforts, enabling you to conduct research methodically rather than hit-or-miss.

Although there is no single "right" way to conduct research, certain skills can make your research efforts more efficient and effective. Developing a search strategy will help you locate appropriate information from a variety of sources. For a research paper or speech, the following is a useful search strategy.

Beginning the Library Research Process
Background Information
Gather Sources
Tips for Finding Sources
Narrowing or Broadening Your Topic
Shape Your Search Strategy
Testing the Topic
Truncation, Wildcards, and Boolean Searches
Types of Periodicals
Searching Databases
Searching the Library Online Catalog
Citing Sources
Evaluating Your Information
Evaluating Information on the Web
Write Your Paper

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