|Tarleton State University Libraries
Using a Research Process
Remembering to think critically about your research tasks, sources,
and tools before attempting to locate information can save you time,
as well as yield better returns on the energy you invest in researching.
As a reminder of this unit's contents, a brief summary of research
process activities, research strategies, and library resources follows:
your information needs.
Ask questions about the breadth, depth, type, and currency
requirements for the information.
Determine which sources would yield desired information
based on the characteristics of specific information sources
(i.e. books, reference works, journals, magazines, newspapers,
and Internet materials).
search (finding) tools.
Use each search tool's characteristics and purpose to inform
your decisions about which tool(s) to use. Possible search tools
include library catalogs, periodical indexes & abstracts,
library databases, and Internet search tools.
for and locate research materials.
Learn to use the search tools efficiently, keep a research
log, and apply what you learn about the organization of information
and library services to help you obtain materials.
Examine the materials critically to determine their appropriateness
to your information needs, project's purpose, and reader expectations.
Now that you are more familiar with research activities and strategies
and better acquainted with specific library sources and tools, you
probably want to start working on research projects associated with
your academic or personal endeavors and practicing what you've learned.
First, however, you should learn more about using research tools efficiently
so that the time you spend looking for information is more fruitful.
Therefore, the next unit offers tips for creating effective and efficient
searches using both print and online tools.
Library Orientation Site Index
4: Searching Effectively