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Consumer Affairs: Getting Started

5 Basic Steps for academic research

5 basic steps (and brief videos) for your academic research:

1) Select a topic: The success you have in writing a research paper begins with selecting a topic. If you choose a broad topic you will end up with too much information. If you pick a topic that is too narrow, you may not find enough information. One database that can help is Opposing Viewpoints. Watch this very brief video. 

2) Choose Keywords for your research: For example, if your topic is How do Student Loans Affect Wealth Inequality, you would not use the whole sentence. The keywords might be Student Loans and Wealth Inequality. Also find synonyms for your keywords. Watch this brief video on choosing keywords and synonyms.

3) Pick a resource to search: It might be OneSearch on the Library home page, or one of our more than 250 databases. Google might be best for some of your research. Watch these short videos on using OneSearch and How to Choose a Database. A good multidisciplinary database to start with is Academic Search Complete. Watch this brief video

4) Refine the results of your search.

5) Cite your sources. Check this page for examples of common APA citations or watch this presentation on APA citations.