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Quinn Library: Research 101

Welcome to the Quinn Lbrary at CBA!


Big 6 Research Process

Following these 6 simple steps will make researching fruitful and rewarding.

1. Task Definition
1.1 Define the information problem
1.2 Identify information needed

2. Information Seeking Strategies
2.1 Determine all possible sources
2.2 Select the best sources

3. Location and Access
3.1 Locate sources (intellectually and physically)
3.2 Find information within sources

4. Use of Information
4.1 Engage (e.g., read, hear, view, touch)
4.2 Extract relevant information

5. Synthesis
5.1 Organize from multiple sources
5.2 Present the information

6. Evaluation
6.1 Judge the product (effectiveness)
6.2 Judge the process (efficiency)

Rutgers Riot

Brainstorming Ideas

When starting your research it is a good idea to have a broad topic and then narrow it as you get deeper into your knowledge. Use this 

Graphic Organizer to help you begin your research.

It is also a good time to visit places like 

  • Google
    As you explore your topic, also explore new tools and search strategies. Refer to your Google search strategies handout in the Handouts box on the left of this pathfinder.
  • Internet Public Library2
    Librarian-maintained search directory of trustworthy content affiliated with authorities in the field.
  • Sweet Search
    A search engine that links students to evaluated web sites. Checkboxes next to results enable you to bookmark links, share to social networks, or add to a Google Doc.
  • Wikipedia
    Be sure to use the References and External Links sections at the bottom of Wikipedia articles for additional background resources.

Keyword Searching

Keywords are a good way to get to information that is really  relevant to your topic. Usually when we search in Google we use natural language. This type of query involves typing in every word of the information need. With keyword searching we only need a few of the most pertinent words and as a result we get the best results. 

Use familiar scholarly words "parent" instead of  "mom". "Sibling" instead of "sis" or "sister". This video explains the importance of key word choice. It is 6 minutes long but will help with understanding the importance of defining your search before you set out.

There are many videos on You Tube to explain keyword searching these are a few good examples: