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Welcome to Urban's Library Resources

First things first.

Before you begin, Sarah and Jo can help you by making your search strategy more effective and efficient.

Make sure to email us for help getting started--you'll save time and learn some tips for future research!


How to start your research?

Understand your assignment:

  • Do you need primary sources?
  • What kind of information will you need? Books, websites, newspapers, videos, etc?
  • What does your teacher expect from you?
  • Be open to all types of information!

Build on your assumptions and expectations.

  • Create a list of keywords, terms, people, ideas, or phrases related to your topic.
  • Great research starts with great sources (see the PROVEN Search Evaluation Process Guide to the left):

Google is not a source!

  • A source is an article, website, book, encyclopedia entry, movie, song, etc. 
  • Begin by looking at encyclopedias for topical overviews.

Wikipedia can be used only...

  • As a tool in this beginning process, but should not be used as a source in your assignment. Use it to brainstorm keywords, gain a general understanding, and then corroborate what you find with reliable sources. Or just use a reliable encyclopedia to start with!
  • Use Proquest or other library databases to gather articles and other sources.

Take notes and keep a trail of your research process.

  • Which keywords worked? Which did not?
  • Don’t take too much time searching. Research is about reading!

Don’t get stuck with irrelevant information--keep your topic and thesis in mind.

And, if you need help finding material, or need to re-strategize your research process, email us--that's what we're here for!