Finding quality research materials for your college paper feels daunting. Sifting through articles, blogs, and essays to find credible electronic sources can take up more time than you first plan for when you try to figure out how many hours you really need to spend in the library.
Thankfully, this U.S. News & World Report article breaks down the advice from Cheryl LaGuardia, research librarian at Harvard University‘s Widener Library. What are some of the tips? We’ve included a few below!
- It’s OK to start with sites like Google and Wikipedia when you’re trying to find out some preliminary information. You can get some background information there before getting to the credible sources you need to include in your paper.
- Take advantage of your school’s library! Go to its website, check out its databases, and see if its interlibrary loan (ILL) can get you the sources you need. Remember to check out those books. Libraries are full of them! And librarians are there to help you, so don’t be shy. Ask them questions and let them work their magic.
- Check out Google Scholar. Many library databases allow you to read full scholarly articles from Google Scholar for free. Even if you can’t read the whole article, accessing certain chapters and sections can really enhance your research (Jacobs and Hyman).
Jacobs, Lynn and Hyman, Jeremy. “Top 10 Tips for Doing E-Research at College.” U.S. News & World Report LP. U.S. News & World Report. 4 Aug. 2010. Web. 29 Sept. 2015.