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Introduction to Research: Research Process/How to...

This guide is a tutorial to help students learn the basics of library research

Manage your Research

Most of the library databases offer a great opportunity to manage your research. You can place articles into a folder, save your searches, and create notes about your research. The information remains in a folder indefinitely so you can access it any time. You can create multiple folders for different research projects.

Getting Started in any of the Ebsco Host databases:

  1. In the blue tool bar, click on "Sign In"
  2. You will need to "Create an Account" the first time which only takes a minute or two. Occasionally the password part is quirky so you might have to try a couple of times.

Save Articles:

  • When viewing citations, click the "Add to Folder" button.

Save Searches:

  1. Click on "Search History" located just under the search form
  2. Click "Save Searches / Alerts"
  3. Name your search and save

Create Notes:

  • When viewing a citation, click on the "Create Note" link on the right side of the page.

Retrieving Articles & Searches:

  • Click on "Folder" in the blue tool bar. In addition to a list of your articles, you will get these links on the left side of the page:

What kind of information do you need?


Have problems with time management?

Plan and Stay on Task


You have a plan, so what's next?

The Research Process.



Putting your topic in the form of a question will help you focus on what type of information you want to collect:  who, what, where, why and how.

Writing a one sentence research question will help you narrow your search and focus your topic.

Narrow your search by using limiters.  You may limit:

by the  geographical area:

Example: What environmental issues are most important in the Southwestern United States?

by culture:

Example: How does the environment fit into the Navajo world view?

by time frame:

Example: What are the most prominent environmental issues of the last 10 years?

by discipline:

Example: How does environmental awareness effect business practices today?

by population group:

Example: What are the effects of air pollution on senior citizens?

Information Literacy

In the library, we use the term, Information literacy.  Information literacy is the ability to identify what information is needed, understand how the information is organized, identify the best sources of information for your needs, locate those sources, evaluate the sources critically and share that information.  To summarize:

Need Information (your assignment, what information do you need to find and why)

Find Information (how to find the information to fulfill your information need, your assignment)

Evaluate Information (don't just use the first thing you find.  Select the best information for your information need)

Use Information (what you create or share with others)

Ethical Information (use information ethically, don't plagiarize. Cite your sources)