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Getting Started

Do you need a refresher in how to conduct effective research for a paper or project? Follow our tips to get started!

1. Choose a research topic

2. Find background information

3. Create a search strategy

  • Develop a list of keywords and concepts related to your topic
  • Combine these search terms into an effective search strategy
  • Use variations of your search strategy in the research tools listed below

4. Find books

  • Use books to provide you with the "big picture" regarding your topic
  • Search for books using WorldCat Local or CLICnet
  • Use effective searching techniques:
    • Place an official Subject search for a more targeted search
    • Place a Title and/or Author search for a known item from a citation or bibliography

5. Find articles

  • Use articles from journals, magazines, etc. when you need more specific details regarding a topic
  • Search for articles using general or subject specific online databases
  • Use effective searching techniques:
    • Use official subjects for a more targeted search
    • Narrow your search by options such as publication date, scholarly (peer reviewed) journals, etc.
    • Read the articles' abstract to determine if they are appropriate for your topic and to locate additional search terms
  • Track down the full text of articles

6. Find websites

  • Use information found in reliable websites (e.g., governmental or professional association sites), when appropriate for a paper/projects as a supplement to information found in books and articles
  • Use effective web searching techniques that will maximize search time and bring you to the best sites.
  • Use a recommended website linked in one of the Bethel Libraries' research guides

7. Evaluate what you find

8. Write your paper/project

9. Cite your sources

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