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Sociology - Lafayette: Getting Started

Getting Started

Welcome to the Ivy Tech Libraries!

In some of your courses you will be required to do research to find out what has been previously said or studied about a particular topic.  Research using library resources can help you save time and achieve better results.

Research Process:

There are seven steps to doing great research. These include: identifying and developing your topic, finding background information, finding books, finding articles, finding Internet resources, evaluating your research, and revising your work. Cornell University Libraries has a helpful page that explores the steps in detail.


Identifying Your Topic:

One of the most important research steps is identifying and developing your topic.  Make sure that your topic is not too broad or narrow and always write it down so you can refer back to it.


Creating Keywords:

Once your topic is set, you will need to brainstorm some keywords to use when doing your research.  The library databases and catalog are different from web search engines like Google.  Each may use different terms to describe the information available in them.  You may need to come up with several different terms (keywords) to access information.

Your keywords will depend on your topic. If you put keywords into a library resource individually, you would get thousands of results.  String keywords together using "AND" to focus in on your topic.