There is no wrong way to do research! The research process can look different depending on the class, assignment, or end goal. This guide is designed to get you started on your research, but if you need any additional help, reach out to the librarians!
Have a research assignment to do?
This guide is designed to give you some general tips to help you get started. For more detailed and advanced instructions, check out our advanced Research Strategies guide.
Have a different type of writing project to complete?
Don't forget, if you get stuck at any point, you can always schedule an appointment with an Oxy librarian.
Finding sources (like articles and books) in databases is a lot like online shopping: you use a combination of keywords and filters to help you narrow down what you're looking for.
If you don't know much about your topic, start by looking for articles and books in OneSearch (our library catalog) or Google Scholar (don't forget to link your Google account with your Oxy library access!).
Once you have more knowledge about your topic, use the subject databases recommended in this guide to access peer-reviewed or other scholarly material.
These are the main types of information sources that you will encounter in your research:
Found a source, but not quite sure if it fits your assignment? You can use the RADAR (Rationale, Authority, Date, Appearance, Relevance) framework to evaluate it.
*Remember that every source has its use, so investigate each source you encounter in both the context of its creation and its potential use in your work.*