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Tutorials and Handouts for Research Tools

Tutorials and Handouts

Wish you had more information on using a database or searching the library catalog? Need more help with citations? Use the library website feedback form to let us know what you need.

Want help learning to use research tools? These tutorials and handouts have been created by librarians and are organized by the steps in the research process.

You can also see only text-based tutorials and handouts, including transcripts of the video tutorials found here. For handouts on how to use individual databases, look for the View Handout links on the Databases A-Z page. If you're having trouble finding something at the library, see this handout on our new library search tool for tips.

How do I get started?

  • Deciphering Your Assignment
    Understanding what your instructor is looking for is key to developing a good research strategy.
  • Developing a Topic
    Help figuring out what your research question or topic is.
  • Generating Search Terms
    How to go from a research question to identifying which words will work best in a search.
  • Whatapedia?
    Have a general topic you're interested in, but don't know where to get started or you're feeling stuck? Try a quick search of online encyclopedias to get background information and find other authoritative sources.
  • Google Advanced Search
    Want tips on how to get better search results? Using Advanced Search is one way to get information about your topic, and can help you limit your results to trusted sites.

Where do I need to look?

  • What is a Library Database?
    Understanding the difference between library databases and other resources found on the Internet. Want to know how to use a specific database? Look for the View Handout link after the database title on the Databases A-Z page.
  • Internet Searching Tips
    Understanding how to use your search words with Internet resources.
  • Using Google Scholar
    Google Scholar is one place to find scholarly articles, and this tutorial gives you tips.

How do I know what I have is the right thing?

Writing and citing - how do I identify sources in my paper?