Search Terms, aka Keywords
Use Databases to Find ArticlesUsing ProQuest to Find ArticlesUsing Academic Search Premier
This is the "Intro to Research" page of the "Research: A Step-by-Step Guide" guide.
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Research: A Step-by-Step Guide  

This guide walks you through the steps of the research process. You'll learn about tools you can use for researching any topic, how to evaluate the sources you find, and how to get help. Especially useful for English 102 students.
Last Updated: Oct 19, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Intro to Research Print Page

Welcome to the Research Process

The purpose of this guide is to acquaint you with resources available through the Kirk Library and to assist you with the research process. Tips on choosing and developing your topic, locating and evaluating information in a variety of sources, and creating citations are included.

This guide is especially useful for English 102 classes and any others where a research paper or presentation is required.


Research Process Overview

Generally, you move from one step to the next in your research. However, research is a dynamic process, and there may be times when you need to change direction. That's why they call it "re-search": you search and search again. Like writing, it's seldom once and done. And just like writing, it gets easier the more you do it.

Research Steps Simplified:

Step 1. Choose and develop a topic

Step 2. Locate information

Step 3. Analyze and evalutate information and sources

Step 4. Use, organize, and communicate information

Step 5. Cite sources


Can't this paper just write itself?


    We're Here to Help

    Look over to the far right and you'll see some of the librarians who are here to help you with your research.

    Library staff are information specialists, and we want to assist you to become successful students and lifelong learners. We love hunting for information and helping students, so ASK US!


    Ask a Librarian

    Talk to a Librarian

    Ask Here Desk




    In person at the Ask Here Desk!


    Research Help:
    360.736.9391 x691

    Chat with a Librarian

    Ask a Librarian 24/7 Chat

    Use QP Chat to chat online with a librarian.  Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! (We belong to a network of worldwide librarians who love to help.)

    Email a Librarian

    QuestionPoint Ask a Librarian


    Send us an email any time and receive a response within 1-3 business days.


    Surviving Library Anxiety

    Many students are put off by the complexity of the library and the number of resources we have. Here are several things to remember that will help you:

    • You don't have to be an expert to use the library, only willing to learn.
    • There are no "dumb" questions, only unasked ones. Save time by asking questions early.
    • You will only be dealing with a small part of the library and its materials at any given moment, and you don't have to understand it all at once. There is a system to it, which is more evident with practice.
    • Most of the time, the research process is cyclical, not linear. In other words, you try something, it works moderately well, you go back and alter your strategy a bit and try again.
    • Practice improves performance--true for everything, right?
    • Start early to give yourself time.
    • Ask for help-- from friends, from instructors, and from the librarians at the Ask Here Desk.

    Librarians are nice, and they are not at all like the one in the YouTube below.



    Faculty Librarian

    Profile Image
    Dale Carroll
    Contact Info
    Office LIB 135
    Phone 360.736.9391 x 259
    Send Email

    Library Dean

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    Sue Kennedy
    Contact Info
    (360) 736-9391 x304
    LIB 119 (in eLearning)
    Send Email

    Faculty Librarian


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