This is a JavaScript menu. Please enable scripts in your browser. Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Mass Shootings: Start Your Research

Understanding Your Assignment

Before you begin your research, review your assignment. 

 Ask Yourself:

  • How many sources do you need?
  • What types of sources you need?
    • Books, articles, or websites?
    • Do they need to be scholarly journal articles? 
  • What citation style are you required to use?
    • Keep track of your sources

Developing a Research Topic video

Milwaukee Area Technical College Libraries. "Developing a Research Topic." YouTube. YouTube, 14 Jan. 2013. Web. 22 Oct. 2014.

The Research Process

opposing viewpoints screencap

1. Develop your Research Topic

  • Discuss your Research Topic with your Instructor to get ideas.
  • Use Opposing Viewpoints to browse topics and get ideas.

Example research question and keywords

2. Select Keywords from your Research Topic

  • Use Keywords for searching for Books/eBooks and the Article Databases.
  • Think of other words that could describe your topic

example EBSCO search

3. Search the Library's Resources

Search for Books & eBooks: 

  • Books & eBooks provide background research.
  • Background research gives you an overview and helps you to understand the main topic points.
  • Keep track of your sources and citations as you find them.

Search the Databases to find Articles: 

  • Add Keywords to focus your search so that your topic is not too broad or too narrow.
  • Getting too many results? Try narrowing your search by publication date range, so you get the most current results.
  • Keep track of your sources and citations as you find them.

refine results example

4. Evaluate your sources

  • Ask yourself, do the sources fit and support your Research Topic?
  • Are they scholarly or popular sources that fit the assignment requirements?

citation example

5. Create your Works Cited or Reference page

  • A Works Cited or Reference page list your sources and citations.
  • It shows where you got the information to support your Research Topic and gives credit to that person or organization.
  • It also shows that you did not plagiarize or copy someone else's work.

Library Terms

Abstract: a short summary of an article in an academic journal, usually appearing at the beginning of the article.

Catalog: an online listing of all the materials a library owns with a detailed description of each item and information on where they are located.

Citation: basic information about a specific source; a citation for a book includes author, title, publisher, place of publication and year of publication.

Database: a collection of organized information; Academic Search Complete is an example of an electronic database.

Journal: a publication that contains scholarly articles written by professors, researchers, or experts in a specific area; also called scholarly journals, academic journals and peer reviewed journals.

Periodical: a publication that appears on a continual and predictable schedule; examples include newspapers, magazines and journals.

Reference books: books such as encyclopedias, dictionaries and handbooks; these books provide key sources of information.

Chaffey College • 5885 Haven Avenue, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91737 - 3002 • 909/652-6000
 Powered by Springshare • LibApps LoginFeedbackBI SurveyLibrary Activities