Starting Points

Choosing a Topic:

> Ask yourself, "What is the purpose or goal of my research?"

Find Background Information:

> Use Reference materials like encyclopedias and dictionaries to get an overview of your topic. 
    - Try
Credo Reference!

> Class notes and your textbook will be helpful resources as well.

Develop a Search Strategy:

> Determine the main concepts of your topic.  Choose keywords that relate to these concepts.

> Think about synonyms for keywords to help broaden your search. 
(Ex: death penalty, synonyms= capital punishment, execution, etc.)

> Link keywords and concepts to form searches.
(Ex: death penalty OR capital punishment AND DNA)

Start Searching: 

> Start at the Library's homepage and use the following resources to locate specific types of information:

- Books - Library Catalog or try Google Books!
- Articles - NCLive
- Reference Resources - Credo Reference 

Evaluate your Sources:

> Evaluating Information Tutorial [UNC University Libraries]

Note: These guidelines were developed by the librarians at Pitt Community College.