Homework Help

Research Tips and Strategies

Step One

Think about your topic.  Ask yourself exactly what you need to find out.  Is your topic too broad or too narrow?  Clearly define your topic by identifying the main concepts or keywords.

Step Two

Check an encyclopedia to get an idea of what your topic is about.

Step Three

Search the Library catalogue using keywords for your topic to discover books, films, and CDs.

Step Four

Information databases allow you to find current information found in newspaper, magazine, and academic journal articles about your topic.  You can search these databases individually. Use your keywords.

Step Five

Search the Internet using keywords for your topic.  

Step Six

Evaluate the information you have collected from the Internet. Is it coming from a reliable source? Is the information correct? Does it match the information you found in steps 2, 3 and 4?

Step Seven

Write your bibliography using a standard format such as MLA or APA.

Here are some great citation sources for you to use:

APA Style
APA citation style is generally required for social and behavioural research papers.  American Psychological Association provides style guides and tips.

Citation Machine  
Make citation machine generate standard MLA and APA citations.

Plagiarism.org  
What is plagiarism?  This site has tips for planning, writing, and citing sources properly in your papers to avoid plagiarizing.

Step Eight

At any step, you may ask a librarian for help. That's what we're here for!