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Introduction to Research

Welcome to the Library

Learning how to conduct research is one of the most important skills a student will learn at university. This guide will help you begin researching a topic and will take you through the process, including how to:

  • find sources for your research 
  • evaluate information
  • cite your sources

Steps to Effective Research

  1. Identify & Develop Your Topic
  2. Find Background Information
  3. Find Books
  4. Find Articles
  5. Find Web Resources
  6. Evaluate Your Sources
  7. Cite Your Sources

Choosing Your Topic: Selecting an appropriate topic, tips on how to broaden or narrow the scope of your topic, and finding background information through discipline-specific encyclopedias.

Finding Background Information: Through discipline encyclopedias

Search Strategies: Search techniques you can employ to improve the efficiency of your search results.

Locating Resources which includes

Finding Books: How to search for books by title, author and topic (keywords) in QCAT, the Queen's Library Catalogue, how to locate them on the library's shelves, and using Summon to identify books on your topic.

Finding Articles: Characteristics of different types of articles you may come across in your research (scholarly, popular and newspaper); article indexes and databases including International Bibliography of Theatre and Dance and MLA International Bibliography; and search engines including Summon and Google Scholar.

Searching the Web: Search techniques for searching the web and using subject directories to locate websites.

Using Information: Considers two very important aspects in the research process that occur after you have located a piece of information: evaluating and citing sources.