Getting Started

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This page provides a simple guideline to get you started in your library research.

1. Define your topic

Choose a topic that you would like to explore. Try not to make your topic too broad or too narrow to facilitate your research process.  If you have a predefined topic for your assignment, go ahead to the next step.

Research Project Calculator from MINITEX can help you better manage your time in finishing the research:


2. Develop your search strategies

a. Identify keywords and synonyms in your topic. This can help you locate relevant resources in later stage. One simple way to look for synonyms is to use

b. Use different techniques to retrieve more relative search results:

  • Boolean Operators (AND, OR, NOT) can help to broaden or narrow down your search during the research process.
  • Double quote (“ ”) can limit your search to the exact wordings in the quotes
  • Truncation makes use of symbols or wildcards (e.g. wom*n to find both woman and women) to replace letters in words in order to get more results.

If you would like to learn more tips about searching the Library catalogue, please refer to "General Search Tips for the Library Catalogue" .


3. Look for resources

The Library is a centre for resources which collects books, journal articles, videos, sound recordings, theses, research papers, newspaper articles, and provide access to electronic resources such as ebooks, ejournals, electronic databases, through the library catalogue to locate library materials,

You can also try the discovery tool, 1-search, to reach all different resources in the Library in one simple click.


4. Evaluate resources

Resources need to be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Authorship and Publishing Body: Who is the author / publisher?
  • Point of View or Bias: What is the point of view?
  • Accuracy and Verifiability of Details: Is the information accurate?
  • Currency: How current is the information?
  • Purpose: What appears to be the purpose for this information?
  • Referral: Are there references to other sources?
  • Target Group: Who is the intended audience?

More tips and techniques can be found at "Evaluating Information" of Guides @ LU.


5. Write citations – using RefWorks (Bibliographic Management Tool)

It would be a good practice to keep your reference list while you are writing your paper. RefWorks is a bibliographic management tool that helps you to organize citations in papers via the online platform. You can:

  • Download citations directly from the Library catalogue and most databases subscribed by the Library
  • Organize the citations into different folders
  • Generate in-text citation, bibliography or reference list in the citation style of your choice, including APA, MLA, Harvard, Chicago style and more.

If you want to learn or about using RefWorks, please refer to the page "Using RefWorks" of Guides @ LU.


6. Use Turnitin to check for plagiarism

Turnitin is an anti-plagiarism software that allows students to check for plagiarism against their writing.

You can access Turnitin via Moodle. For details, please contact your lecturers.