Quick Guide to the Research Process 

Focus your topic as you search. Revise your search as you focus.

Read the assignment for...

  • Required topics
  • Required source types

Choose search terms from...

  • Textbooks
  • Class notes

Search the Library website (https://library.valleycollege.edu/) for...

  • Books and ebooks
  • Scholarly journal articles
  • Newspaper and magazine articles
  • Pro-con arguments
  • Subject-specific encyclopedias

Browse results for relevant...

  • Article and book titles
  • Keywords and subjects
  • Abstracts and summaries
  • Tables of contents
  • Terms in indexes

Too many results? Check options in the Refine Results menu.

Too few results? Use broader search terms or try a different database.

Evaluate your topic and results:

  • Focus or expand your topic
  • Use different search terms
  • Consider a related topic
  • Return to an earlier step of the research process

Focus your topic as you search. Revise your search as you focus.

View the printable: Research Process PDF.