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Last Updated: Jul 30, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
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Reference/Research Help

If you need to find information then it’s a good idea to consult a librarian. Librarians who specialize in assisting library users with their research questions are known as reference librarians.

You can contact a reference librarian in person, through chat, on the phone, or via email.

Research Tips - There are five basic steps in the research process. Below you will find information about each of these steps.

  1. Choosing a Research Topic

    The first step in research is to know your topic. Some instructors may assign you a specific topic, but others may let you choose your own topic. Here is a short tutorial to help you choose a research topic.

  2. Finding Information

    There are four main ways you can find information through the STC Library.

    • Discovery Search allows you to search our library catalog and most databases through a single search. You can select Advanced Search or do a quick search here.
      Limit Your Results
    • Select a Search by Subject option above to find information related to a specific discipline.
    • You can search individual databases on our Online Databases page.
    • If you know the title of an article or journal that you want, you can use our Article Finder or Journal Finder.

  3. Evaluating Sources

    After you have found information on your topic, the next step is to evaluate that information to determine if it is reliable and relevant to your research project. Don't just trust the first information that you find. Take some time to consider the source. These tutorials can help you choose high-quality sources.

  4. Using Information

    If you need assistance writing your paper, you can visit STC's Center for Learning Excellence (CLE). The CLE has tutors who can give writing tips and advice and also proofread your papers. For more information on the CLE, click here.

    The Purdue Online Writing Lab also has useful advice to assist you in the writing process.

  5. Citing Sources

    Plagiarism occurs when you take the words or ideas of another and use them without giving proper credit to the author. Plagiarism is unethical and it is a violation of the STC Student Code of Conduct. Plagiarism can be intentional or unintentional, but either way it is still a violation of ethical standards. To avoid plagiarism, you should always cite your sources.


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