Not sure where to start on your research paper or assignment? The library has a variety of online and in-person services to support your research:
- Library Help: Ask for help with borrowing, troubleshooting your research, and more
- Visit the Library Services Desk for in-person research help
- Get one-on-one writing and citing help, or browse writing and citation guides from the Writing Centre
- Email your questions or book a one-on-one appointment with your Subject Librarian.
The topics listed below are important parts of the research process. Expand each topic to find helpful resources to support your work!
Knowing what your topic is, and your specific question related to that topic impacts the entire research process - everything from what resources you need to how you write your paper.
- Handout: Understanding Assignment Guidelines
- Guide: Develop a Research Question (University of Waterloo)
- Guide: Selecting a Research Topic (MIT)
- Guide: Using Wikipedia for Academic Research (Fresno Pacific University)
- Video: Developing Keywords for your Research Question or Topic
- Video: Using Keywords
Finding resources that apply to your topic is all about having the right search strategy and knowing what kind of information will effectively support your answer to the research question.
Need help with finding resources? Visit the Library’s Finding Resources pages to learn how to find articles, books, eBooks, and more!
For discipline-specific resources, visit the Subject Guide for your course or degree program.
- Video: How to use the Library Catalogue
- Guide: Formulating your search strategy using Boolean Operators (USask University Library)
Once you being reading the resources you’ve found, you’ll also need to determine if they are appropriate for your research. This includes whether or not it contains accurate and verified information, if it is relevant to your research question, and if it effectively supports your answer to the research question.
- Infographic: How to Read a Scientific Paper (Elsevier)
- Evaluating Sources of Information (OWL Purdue)
- Video: Checking Journals for Peer-Review
Now that you’ve got your resources, you’re ready to craft an answer to your research question. To do this, you will need to plan out the structure of your research paper, write a draft of the paper, and cite your resources clearly and correctly. The Writing Centre offers writing tutor support as well as a variety of resources for help with writing, citation, and studying.