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Step 2: Finding Relevant Information  

Last Updated: Oct 24, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
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Step 2: Finding Relevant Information

Step 2: Finding Relevant Sources of Information

Thanks to Step 1, you have a general idea of what your topic is about.  Now you can begin Step 2, which is finding relevant sources of information.  Let's get started!

A.  Know your assignment's requirements.  Review the details of your assignment so you're aware of how many and what type of sources you need. Some teachers require students to use a variety of source types, such as:

  • Books
  • Online Databases
  • Magazines
  • World Wide Web
  • Newspapers
  • Videos

B.  Read this ENTIRE page. Then visit these links on how to find articles in databases and in book sources:

  1. Finding Book Sources
  2. Finding Information in Subscription Databases

C.  Remember that research is a continuous process.  Often times you will finish Step 2:  Fining Relevant Sources, move on to Step 3: Taking Notes, then have to go back to Step 2 when you realize  you need additional info.  That is perfectly normal in research!  Just continue until you have enough notes to write your entire paper. 

Move on to Step #3 when you have:

  • Found relevant articles from database sources and taken notes on them
  • Copied the MLA citation on all of the articles you used
  • Found relevant book sources and taken notes (Be sure to record the page numbers for citation purposes)
  • Recorded the MLA citation information for the book sources you used (Hint:  it never hurts to take a photo of the copyright page so you can refer to it later)

*Step 2 is all about gathering sources that have information that relates to your research question.  As you move onto Step #3:  Taking Notes on Notecards, you will examine those sources much more closely.  You'll assess the info you found, identify any areas where you're lacking info and in that case, you will circle back to Step #2 and continue looking for additional sources.


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