Research Coach - LSC-CyFair
Start Your Research Project with Proven Tips and Tools!
What Topic Should I Research?
- Check assignment details from your professor for:
- the scope of the project
- the type of information required or suggested
- the format of the project (e.g., presentation, paper, etc.)
- Ask a librarian for topic ideas related to your interests.
- Get topic suggestions from:
- Online News Hour-The Rundown (Note: Click on topic links at top of page for more coverage or use the search box in the top right to locate a specific topic)
- Old Dominion Libraries Idea Generator (topic ideas under broad categories such as education, health sciences, etc.)
- Go Behind the News Blog (stories in the news that have background information in LSC-CyFair Library)
- Focus your topic on a specific and manageable aspect that interests you:
- time period or geographical area
- problem, viewpoint, issue, or trend
- group affected by the topic
Where Do I Search for Information?Note: For off-campus access, enter the barcode number on your college ID/ library card. Or request a library card barcode number.
- Start your research with some articles from our multi-topic databases.
- Find controversial topics in these databases.
- Use digital books online and library books on the shelf to get background details on your topic.
- Discover statistics to prove your point on a topic.
- Statistical Abstract of the United States (population, employment, business, military, etc.)
- Get streaming video to enhance your presentation.
- Discover specialized sources with databases by subject for literature, health, business, and more.
- Locate reliable sources on the Internet with unique details for your project.
How Do I Select Sources and Organize Them?
- Rate your sources. - Evaluating Information Checklist
- Identify the type of article you need. - Scholarly Journals vs. Popular Magazines
- Learn some methods forkeeping track of information sources. - Note Taking and Research: Why, How, and What? (PDF)
- Put source information into your own words. - Summarize, Paraphrase, and Quote: When and How? (PDF)
How Do I Cite My Sources?
- Format Your Citations
Get Expert Research Help
Research Tips - LSC-CyFairTip #29: Need to Find Basic Information on a Topic for a College Research Paper?
Which option would you choose?
A. Newspaper article
B. Magazine article
D. Web Page
In many cases, "C" would be a terrific answer! Most newspaper and magazine articles cover recent information on a topic that may be very specific to an event. Web pages may provide basic information, but may not provide sufficient detail or authority for a college research paper. So search for a book that provides an introduction to your topic and may even have “introduction” or “basic” in the title. No need to read the entire book for your assignment! Check the index and table of contents for the specific information you need.