Where Do I Start?
Research is a process: it takes time to find the good stuff
- Choose a topic that really interests you. Start with your textbook and course materials. Your professor can be a big help in pointing you in a good direction. Then browse reference sources, newspapers, or even Google for other ideas.
- Explore what kind of information is available. See what others have published in books or periodical articles that you could develop into a topic.
- Develop and use a Search Strategy:
- Once you have identified a topic, write it as a question.
- Think of as many words as you can to describe your topic. Add more words, subject headings, and descriptors that you find as you search.
- Combine the terms for your online searching using Boolean Logic (AND, OR, NOT) to get more relevant sources
- Be flexible: Modify your topic as you discover more information.
Know Your Sources!
When doing research you will come across a lot of information from different types of sources. How do you decide which source to use? From tweets to newspaper articles, this tool provides a brief description of each and breaks down 6 factors to consider when selecting a source.
Find books and articles at Linfield College, academic libraries regionally, and journals worldwide. ***More details and Tips
By default, results include:
Available - books, videos etc. on shelves at Linfield Libraries plus full text articles and E-Books online
Summit - Collections from dozens of regional academic libraries, with materials deliverable within 3-5 days.
Request Article - Articles not immediately available online, but requestable via Interlibrary loan. Articles can arrive from within hours to 1-2 days.
Limit searching using scopes:
- Linfield + Summit + Articles - books from Linfield and other Summit libraries PLUS articles from subscribed and freely available journals worldwide and even some websites, datasets and academic websites.
- Linfield + Summit - Includes Linfield Libraries physical (books, dvd's etc.) collections, e-books, and Summit
- Linfield Libraries - find books, videos, and other physical materials available at Linfield (inside the Portland or McMinnville campus libraries).
- Articles - search limits to articles from subscribed and freely available journals worldwide.
- Ebsco - focuses on articles from dozens of Ebsco databases. You can also search Ebsco and other databases individually via the Research Databases link on the left sidebar of the Libraries pages.