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When you know what you want and what you need, then you're ready to search for information.


Remember, the "quest" of all your research efforts should be to answer your research question.


Where should you look?

Encyclopedias, dictionaries, almanacs, atlases, and handbooks

1. Encyclopedias, dictionaries, almanacs, atlases, and handbooks are great starting points for overviews of topics or quick facts.



Newspapers and magazines

2. Newspapers and magazines are reader-friendly and good for current events. Journals are more academic in nature.



various Books covers

3. Books cover a topic thoroughly, though they may not be as current as other sources.




And there's the web . . .

A single search can link you to a thousand websites. The web can be a good source for some information. But, when it comes to articles, the library is a more efficient place to search. On the web, you may need to wade through many fragments of articles before you find full text that is freely available and appropriate for college-level research. If you use web resources, evaluate them carefully.


The good and the bad of the web . . .

Thumbs up

Book and movie reviews
Travel information
Government and nonprofit websites

Thumbs down

Copyright or ownership of content can be unclear
Some content is edited on a minute-by-minute basis by non-experts
Snippets of scholarly information (citations) seldom link to full text without the library's linking services