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This is a brief introduction to research in the Library, how to decide on a research topic, how to find relevant materials and how to cite them.

Writing Help

Evaluating Resources

Evaluating What You Have Found

As you select, access and locate information you should be reading and evaluating what you find for relevance to your project, and for


  • Is the author identified?
  • Is there a sponsor (educational institution, professional association, government agency)?


  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is the treatment scholarly or popular?


  • Is there evidence of bias?
  • Is the source of the information clearly stated?  Is it original?


  • Is the information out of date?
  • When was it last updated?

Steps of the Research Process

Research is “the careful, systematic, patient study and investigation in some field of knowledge, undertaken to discover or establish facts or principles.” (Webster's New World Dictionary)

Below is an outline of the steps involved in the research process:

  • Choosing a topic
  • Find background information
  • Refine your topic
  • Developing a thesis statement
  • Locating resources (books, periodical articles, websites)
  • Evaluating resources
  • Taking notes from resources
  • Write a draft of your paper; review and edit; prepare final version
  • Citing your sources

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