Use library resources to search for the articles, books, and other sources of information that you need.
Keep in mind the assigned length of the research paper, project, bibliography or other research assignment. Be aware of the depth of coverage needed and the due date. These important factors may help you decide how much and when you will modify your topic. You instructor will probably provide specific requirements, if not the table below may provide a rough guide:
|Length of Research Paper or Project||Suggested Guidelines for Approximate Number and Types of Sources Needed|
|1 - 2 pages||2 - 3 magazine articles or websites|
|3 - 5 pages||4 - 8 sources, including books, articles (scholarly or popular), and websites|
|Annotated Bibliography||6 - 15 sources, including books, scholarly articles, websites, etc.|
|10 - 15 pages||12 - 20 sources, including books, scholarly articles, websites, etc.|
Carefully Select Search Terms
Use Advanced Search Techniques
You will often begin with a word, develop a more focused interest in an aspect of something related to that word, then begin to have questions about the topic. For example:
Ideas = Frank Lloyd Wright
Research Question = How has Frank Lloyd Wright influenced modern architecture?
Focused Research Question = What design principles used by Frank Lloyd Wright are common in contemporary homes?
Boolean operators are connector words, such as AND, OR, and NOT, that are used to combine or exclude words in a search string for more focused results.
business AND ethics
ALL of the search terms.
hotels OR motels
|Results contain ANY of the search terms, but not necessarily all of them.|
java NOT coffee
|Excludes results containing
the second search term.