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Library Research Overview: Getting Started

This libguide is one-stop shopping for all your basic library how-tos.

Understanding Your Assignment

What should I look for in my assignment?

  • Keywords or verbs. Words like summarize, compare, analyze, or argue direct you to think about your topic in a certain way.
  • Technical details which indicate format rules or guidelines like font, length, spacing, and citation style.
  • Project logistics will tell you about the final product, whether it is supposed to be a speech, written paper, or other presentation.
  • Number and type of sources such as peer-reviewed, scholarly, primary or secondary.
  • Due dates for drafts and final paper/presentation. Plan ahead for time in the library and writing center.


Choosing Your Topic

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Where do I find topic ideas?

  • Discuss your topic ideas with your class instructor or a reference librarian. It may be wise to set up an appointment so you can get extra help. 
  • Here you will find a list of topic ideas from another community college library.
  • Explore current topics using one of the resources listed below.