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Step 5: Find High Quallity Sources
Review These Questions Before Beginning Your Research:
- How much time do you have to spend? If you only have a short amount of time, be selective. If you have more time, follow a broader path and check out a variety of sources. A Research Project Calculator can be very helpful for scheduling your time/research.
- How current do your sources need to be? Need the latest information? Check periodicals (journals/magazines/newspaper articles). Need broader, more detailed coverage or historical information? Books will be your best bet.
- Do you need to consult sources contemporary with an event or a person's life (i.e., do you need to know what people were writing/saying in Paris during World War I)? Examine newspapers/magazines or books written during that time.
- What kinds of sources do you need to consult? Do you need specific nursing or health journals? Specific business journals? Statistical information? Reports of similar studies?
- How many sources should you consult? Expect to look over many more sources than you actually end up using. Best Guideline: make sure you have enough sources to support your hypothesis. If the assignment asks for a specific number of sources - follow that guideline.
Use Catalogs to Find Books & Media:
Use the following to help you find books related to your topic. You will need to go through your home college library or your public library to locate and check out books. If your local library doesn't have the book you need, you can request it through Interlibrary Loan (ILL). Remember ILL takes time, so give yourself enough time (i.e., this is not one of those night-before-the-paper is due options).
- You can go to your home college library's website and learn more about how to search for books from the Home College Resources page.
- Use the Colorado Virtual Library to access libraries (public, academic, and more) across Colorado. You can also search for books and other items; the virtual library also offers other resources including a great resource on Colorado histories.
- Another great resource is Prospector, a unified catalog of academic, public, and special libraries in Colorado and Wyoming.
- WorldCat is yet another wonderful library resource. They bill themselves as the world's largest library catalog (it's the free version of FirstSearch). You can search for a book and then find out which libraries have that book. You can then take that information to your home college library or public library and have them get it for you through Interlibrary Loan.
- Google Books can also be a helpful resource. It also connects with WorldCat.org so you can see which library has the book, and every once in a while, you can read the eBook version right there.
- Google Scholar focuses more on academic texts, but has the same broad focus as other Google sites.
Find Peer-Reviewed, Scholarly Journal Articles:
Visit CCCOnline Library's Research Databases to search for scholarly articles. There's two ways to access the databases:
- Go to the Online Library page, and find Research Databases. Choose an article database and click on it. On the page that comes up with the CCCOnline logo, log in with your S# and password.
- Log in to D2L and locate the Helpful Widgets link, on the main MyHome page or the Course homepage, and click on Library Resources. That will take you to the same page as above, where you can log in with your S# and current password.
Be sure to take time to read through the Library Article Database Tutorial for help with using the databases.
Remember, you can also search your home college library's article databases; the Home College Resources page links will take you to your home college library's website.
Find Quality Internet Resources:
Be sure to visit the CCCOnline Library's Research Guides pages. Check out the following: