Chapter 1 Tutorials

Following are links to tutorials from other libraries that address some of the ideas in Chapter 1.

  • Assignment Calculator
    From San Jose State University, this interactive page lets you enter the due date for an assignment and then gives you particular dates for the different stages of your research. A great time-management tool.

  • How do I?
    This tutorial from the University of Washington offers information on the basics of research with some online quizzes included.

  • The Information Cycle
    A description of how the information cycle relates to the production of different types of materials (the internet, newspapers, magazines, journals, and books) based on the Columbine school shootings in Littleton, CO. This event may be a little before your time, but consider the information in light of 9/11 or the killings at the Boston Marathon in April 2013.

  • The Information Cycle
    Another explanation of the information cycle from the University of Washington, focused on the Japanese tsunami of 2011.

  • One Perfect Source?
    Doing research isn’t about finding one article that covers your topic perfectly.

  • Picking Your Topic IS Research
    Understanding the iterative process of the research process. Very well done.

  • Tutorial For Information Power (TIP)
    From the University of Wyoming

Chapter 1 Take-aways

From De Montfort University Library, Leicester, UK (


When you are first starting to think about your topic for an assignment, there are issues about it that you need to consider BEFORE starting to do any research.

The first of these is WHEN the event you are writing about occurred. The time of the event will determine what kinds of information resources might be available to you. For instance, if you are doing a project on the election primaries, because they are happening now, you probably won’t find many journal articles on this topic, unless you are looking for general information on election primaries in general. Nor, probably, will you find books. It takes time to publish both books and scholarly journal articles, and the recent U.S. election primaries are too recent. You can probably find magazine, newspapers, and web sites that discuss this particular subject.


So when an event occurred is going to be very influential in determining what kinds of information you will find.

If you know nothing about a topic you are beginning to research, encyclopedias can be useful. In this particular case, probably Wikipedia is a good place to start.


Chapter 2 mentions 3 major consideration to help you get started in your research.   The chart below identifies those three:



Finding Tools

What are the three major finding tools for your research, according to Chapter 1:

  • Library discovery tools (in our library–QuickSearch)–books, videos, sometimes websites
  • Periodical indexes–journal article
  • Web search engines–journal articles, videos, websites

These are the tools you use to find the appropriate information sources, such as books, journal articles, videos, newspaper articles, and web sites that might be appropriate for your research project.

Types of Information Sources

Chapter 1 illustrates the types of information sources used for different types of information you need:

    • Library discovery tools

      • Background  information

      • Statistics

    • Periodical indexes

      • Statistics

      • News and general information

      • Scholarly, peer-reviewed journal articles

    • Web search engines

      • Background information

      • Statistics

      • News & general information

      • Governmental sources

      • Other likely organizations, agencies


Choose your search terms carefully:

  • To get better, more relevant results
  • To help focus your search
  • To determine whether you’d be better off using a scholarly index with controlled  vocabulary
  • To use the correct controlled vocabulary for the different scholarly indexes