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Life Hack: Library Research: The Research Process

The Research Process

Quick Tips

Cite as you go

There's nothing more frustrating than getting to the end of your writing process and then trying to find all of your sources again to complete the citations. Each time you find an interesting resource, collect the full citation information. You can do this by:

  • In URSUS (the library catalog), click "Cite This Item" on the right side of the item's record. This will give you several formats of citation for the item.
  • Use a citation manager such as RefWorks or Zotero. Check out our Citation Help page for more info.
  • In most databases, there is the option to collect the articles you're interested in within a folder. Make sure to create an account, or to export this list at the end of your search.

Keep an Open Mind

The point of research is to learn and to develop your own ideas. Read broadly, and take in many different viewpoints before drawing your own conclusions.

Leave Plenty of Time

Research can take a long time, and it can be very frustrating to work on a deadline if you have to wait a few days for books to be delivered from other libraries. Start your research process early, and you'll have access to much more information.

Talk it Over

There's a lot to learn in the research process. From defining your topic to dealing with unexpected problems and finding high quality information, it can be very helpful to meet with your subject librarian. Check out our list of librarians to find the one for your subject, and meet to discuss your research. This can happen throughout the research process, but don't leave it to the last minute!

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