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Building a Library Research Strategy: Home

This guide will help students form a strategy to begin finding information for their paper or project.

What is this Guide for?

Hello!   Need to write a research paper?

At SVC there are many options (beyond Google) where you can find relevant, credible sources for your papers. This guide will take you through the steps of how to find topics, gather sources, evaluate sources, cite your work, and ultimately, write a good paper!

Guide Contents (click or use the top tabs):

Research Pathway

This list describes the general pathway to a research paper. Keep in mind... IT IS NOT A LINEAR PROCESS, but a messy and meandering path to a satisfying result!

 Select a Topic > Begin with an idea
 Find Background Information > Poke around a little...
  Refine Your Topic > Narrow or broaden your topic, think about the themes, people, or time frames you are interested in. Maybe even create a research question!
 Create a Search Strategy > Decide your first search terms or keywords (these may change later on!) and think about where you'll start looking.

 Locate Information > Use the library catalog, databases, and other resources to find articles, books, & high-quality materials for your paper 

 Evaluate Information > Does what you found really suit your needs?
 Adjust, Refine & Look again! > Sometimes a little more searching is necessary
 Write & Cite > Begin the writing process, making sure to cite your sources as you go
 Review, Evaluate, Refine, Write & Cite some more > Writing and research often happen at the same time

REMEMBER: At any point in this process you can ASK A LIBRARIAN for help!  Library Chat: AskWa    Phone 360.416.7847

****Please note that the College is on remote operations due to concerns related to Covid -19. Find out about Library Services during this time.
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