The best preparation for research is to remain calm! Keep in mind the following when beginning a new research assignment:
Do you struggle with doing research? Do you have trouble figuring out what resources to consult for research?
Check out the Research Succes Toolkit! This guide will provide you with a roadmap to complete your next research assignment from start to finish.
Where do I start?
Books are available through MCTC in print or electronic versions in the Library Catalog.
Databases are authoritative resources that index citations or full-text availability of articles from journals or magazines, in PDF or html format, on a wide variety of topics. Databases also contain items such as photographs, graphs, videos or audio files. The MCTC library subscribes to many databases, through vendors such as EBSCOHost and Gale Cengage.
Newspapers are available in the library in print and through backdates and online through our Newspaper Resources guide.
Government documents are available online through trusted websites such as the U.S. GPO and Census.gov. States.
Audiovisual resources (DVDs, streaming videos, and ebooks) are available to check out or view online from the Library Resources page.
Whatever sources you use, be sure to apply evaluation criteria beforehand and include the correct citation of each source within your paper and on your works cited page.
Writing a thesis is one of the most challenging tasks in working on a research paper and will focus the direction of your work. Below are some websites to help give you some pointers!
As you begin searching and collecting information, you need to be sure your topic can be researched and that you will find adequate materials on your topic. You may find that there is often too much information for your topic, or too little so you may need to adjust your research strategy.
What should you do if:
1.) Your topic is too broad. Find a way to limit the depth or scope of your search. Narrow or restrict the topic to something, such as a certain aspect of a subject or issue, you can deal with that will not be so overwhelming as you are searching for information.
2.) Your topic is too narrow. Find a way to expand your topic to include a wider range of information that can be retrieved through your research.
The encyclopedias and other reference material articles are excellent sources for a quick summary of basic ideas and concepts on a given subject. Often, this summary is an indication of how popular or how well researched this topic is.
Click here to see Is the Question are Too Broad or Too Narrow?
If you need help, please let us know! Ask A Librarian by email.
To schedule an appointment for research help, Book a Librarian!
Can't get into the databases? Go to the Off-Campus Instructions for assistance with the library resources off-campus.