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Research. Where and How to Begin. Research Objectives. Objectives: Understand what it means to be information literate Know where to locate information ( ) Know how to formulate an information question and develop a search strategy

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Where and How to Begin

research objectives
Research Objectives


Understand what it means to be information literate

Know where to locate information (

Know how to formulate an information question and develop

a search strategy

Know how to access information from a variety of sources

Know how to analyze the information to select the best sources

Use selected information to produce oral, written, or electronic presentations with appropriate documentation of sources

information literacy
Information Literacy
  • What is it?
    • Information Literacy is the set of skills needed to find, retrieve, analyze, and use information.
information literacy1
Information Literacy
  • Success depends on one’s ability to locate, gather, evaluate and use information.
  • Best source for information depends on the type of information needed.
  • Questions for evaluating information:
      • Who, What, When, Why, and How.
information sources
Information Sources

Information comes from a variety of sources:





Government agencies

how do i begin
How do I begin?
  • Begin by knowing the details of the assignment.
      • Short essay,10 page paper, electronic presentation
      • Types of sources required - Books, eBooks, Journals, Media Clips, Internet sites, etc.
      • Develop a research strategy for selecting

a topic.

research strategy

Research Strategy

Topic Selection

sources for topic selection
Sources for Topic Selection
  • Course Textbook
  • Headline News
  • Topical databases (Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center)
  • Library of Congress Subject Headings
  • Talk with your Instructor
  • Once a topic is selected, think of different terms or phrases to represent the topic.

Topic: Global Warming

Synonyms: Greenhouse Effect

Climate Change

Atmospheric Temperature

Acid Rain

narrowing a topic
Narrowing a topic
  • Narrow a broad topic by adding additional words or phases

Narrow by: Location (State-Alabama or Country-India)

Industries (Coal or Automobile)

People (Al Gore)

Government Agencies (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)

  • Sources for background information on selected topic
    • Encyclopedias (Encyclopedia of Global Change)
    • Handbooks (Capital Punishment: a reference handbook)
    • Subject dictionaries (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms)
where do i begin
Where do I begin?
  • Begin with the Library web pages. Note the URL:

library homepage
Library Homepage

online catalog books
Online Catalog (Books)

Various ways to search

Basic search – enter terms in the quick search box and hit enter key. Results will appear in order of relevance. Click on the Available button to see item information and retrieve call number.

Advanced search – Click on the Advanced search button. Enter search terms in box. Add search qualifiers such as material types (DVD, map, etc.), publication date, or location. Click search button top right.

boolean searching
Boolean searching
  • Combining of more than one search term

Boolean Operators

        • And (retrieves records with both terms)
        • Or (retrieves records in which at least one term is present)
        • Not (retrieves records in which only one of the terms is present)

example: global warming AND India

electronic books
Electronic Books
  • Over 25,000 E-books available (netLibrary)
  • Create your own personal accounts
  • Browse or check-out E-books electronically
  • Access E-books (netLibrary) through the Library web page
  • Available 24/7
  • Personal accounts expire after 18 months without use

Create account here

Enter search terms here


Search terms


Click here to view


Navigation tools

Table of contents and book cover

periodicals magazines journals
Periodicals (Magazines/Journals)
  • Alabama Virtual Library - first place for reliable sources of information – Not the Internet
  • Information covers all grade levels and subject disciplines
  • Available 24/7 from anywhere
  • On campus-Click the AVL link on Library web page
periodicals magazines journals cont
Periodicals (Magazines/Journals) cont.
  • Off-Campus – Click on Database Links by Subject on the Library web page
  • Select your subject area
  • Select database to search (AVL or ProQuest)
  • New screen opens
  • Follow screen directions to create user-name and password

Lurleen B. Wallace Community College

Electronic Resources

LBWCC's electronic resources are limited by our vendors to current Students, Faculty, and Staff. To use these resources from off-campus, you will need to provide a user-name and password.

To formulate your user-name and password, please follow the instructions below:

User-name: First five letters of your last name First letter of your first name

Last three digits of your social security number

Example: June Smith (321-13-6789) smithj789

Password: Six digit date of birth (Month-Day-Year)

Example: January 22, 1986 - 012286

Enter your user-name and password into the boxes below and click 'Login'.

Please enter your user-name: __________

Please enter your password: ___________



Search multiple databases here in a single search




from this list

select database
Select Database
  • General databases
    • Academic Search Elite
    • InfoTrac General OneFile
    • Expanded Academic ASAP
  • Subject databases
    • Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center
    • Health Source – Nursing Academic
    • Literature Resources from Gale

Enter search terms here

Enter search terms here

Select search limits here

Check box for full-text articles

Check box for Scholarly Journals


Search results

Click here for full-text

printing from the avl
Printing from the AVL
  • Read abstracts first
  • Use print buttons within the database; not under File
  • Must have Adobe Reader to print PDF files
interlibrary loan
Interlibrary Loan
  • Lending of materials between two libraries
  • Available to students, faculty and staff
  • Cost is free as long as it comes from a library within the state
  • Forms are available at the Circulation Desk
  • Off-campus students - email librarians at address on library web page
  • Ask for assistance
citation information
Citation Information
  • Book: Author, title of book, publisher, place of publication and date
  • Article: Author, title of article, publication title, date and page numbers (volume & issue number may be needed – check style manual)
  • Internet source: All of the above plus the URL and date the article was accessed
start early finish first
Start Early – Finish First
  • Select topic and formulate search strategy
  • Begin with
  • Locate and review sources
  • Analyze information
  • Avoid Plagiarism when writing
  • Note citation information
  • ASK for assistance