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Library Research Basics : Getting Started

Learn About Your Library

Harvey Library at Hampton University is YOUR LIBRARY.

We provide resources and trained personnel to help you locate the information you need:

  • Books
  • Ebooks
  • Online Journals
  • Library Databases
  • Librarians  - Ask Us !

Please contact us if you would like more guidance in the research process.

Gathering Information

Before you begin your research, you should make sure you understand your assignment.

Some good questions are:

How many sources do I need?
What kinds of sources? Books, articles, websites? Scholarly or popular articles?

Sources come in many forms, such as magazine and journal articles, books, newspapers, videos, films, computer discussion groups, surveys, or interviews

 Select the best information sources

Selecting A Topic

Selecting a topic can be the most difficult part of doing research. Defining and refining your topic is an ongoing process. Be prepared to change the focus of your topic as you gather more information.

Your research question should be opened ended and help you formulate your thesis.

Select a subject you can get interested in.  Since you will be spending a considerable amount of time researching your topic, you will want it to be something that holds your interest.

Make sure that your topic isn't too narrow or too vague. If the topic is too broad, you will be overwhelmed with information. If the topic is too narrow, you may not be able to find enough information for your research paper.

Building a Research Paper

Build a Research Paper

research diagram

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