Skip to Main Content
Banner Image

Library Research 101: Start Your Research

Do you need to do some research?

In college, students are frequently given assignments that require some form of research. Do you have an assignment that requires sources to back up your claims? Do you need to know more about a subject? This guide will help you learn how to do research effectively so that you can get those sources and do well on your assignments. 

In this guide, you will find the following information:

If you have any questions, get in touch with a librarian! We are happy to help you. 

Why you should use the Library

Why should you use the library?

  1. Not everything is on the internet.  There are many materials you won't be able to find using a standard Google search.
  2. Not everything on the internet is free.  Some materials, like journal articles, exist behind a paywall.
  3. The internet is not very organized, but the library has Research Guides to direct you to the best resources.
  4. There is no quality control on the internet.
  5. Sources on the internet can be harder to locate or verify.
  6. Historical documents aren't always available online.
  7. Library online resources are available 24/7.
  8. The internet is a mile wide and an inch deep.  There might be many websites about a topic, but they all have the same information.  For a varied and more in-depth analysis, try some of the library's books or article databases.
  9. You're already paying for the library through your tuition, so get your money's worth!
  10. Real live people can help you use our library.

List adapted from Navarro College Libraries

What about Google? 

There are times when Google is a completely acceptable tool for finding information. Librarians do still use Google- we just know when it will be the most effective. 

When to use Google/ the Open Web:

  • To explore an unfamiliar topic and find background information;
  • To go to a specific website;
  • To find current government forms and data;
  • To find information about a unique or new topic;
  • To find multimedia materials;
  • To answer a quick question; and
  • To find information for personal use.

When to use Library Databases:

  • To find journal articles;
  • To find news articles, both historical and current;
  • To find scientific data, methods, and protocols; 
  • To find in-depth, factual information on complex topics; and
  • To find historic documents and archives for research.
Chat is offline. Contact the library.