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How to do Research  

Last Updated: Oct 24, 2016 URL: http://libguides.pointloma.edu/Research Print Guide RSS Updates

Introduction Print Page


Research instruction demonstrates how to locate and evaluate sources for a research paper or project. With your PLNU writing class, you will learn to locate relevant books, full-text articles, and useful internet sites. 

This guide is only an introduction. Seek help from the PLNU librarians when you need it. 


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Before you Begin

Before you begin your research, you should:

  1. Think about what types of information you think you will need to find. 
  2. Decide what type of source would be the best place to find that type of information.

Here are some examples:

Type of information Where to find it
  • newspapers
  • websites from news organizations
  • databases 
Information about a specific organization/company
  • websites 
  • company profiles 
Research article
  • scholarly journals
Personal accounts
  • magazines 
  • news articles 
  • blogs
  • websites 
  • scholarly journals 
History, overview, definitions (scholarly)
  • subject encyclopedias
  • books 
History, overview (popular)
  • magazines 
  • books

Annotated Bibliography Assignment - College Compostion

This assignment is distributed via the Library Research Instruction Module on Canvas, and the completed assignment should be uploaded to Canvas according to the instructions.  An additional copy of the assignment is provided here for convenience.


Choosing a Topic

Choosing and refining a topic is an important part of the research process.  One valuable resource for looking for topics is CQ Researcher, one of our Reference Databases.  This reputable periodical explores one current and relevant issue in depth every week. Keep in mind that your topic may need to fit specific criteria assigned by your professor.

Once inside CQ Researcher, we recommend the following:

  • Browse Topics
  • Browse Reports
  • Or use the search box at the top

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