Getting Started

Once your topic has been approved, begin to gather information from authoritative reference sources: pertinent books, encyclopedias, and articles in magazines, journals, and magazines. Librarians will be happy to show you how to use the various research tools within the library and may suggest other sources of information. Important new resources are now available to you through electronic services which provide many learning and reference tools as well as access to the Internet, where you can often discover an abundance of information.

We recommend the Capital Community College online Library and Information Skills Workbook ( as an introduction to using library and online resources. The workbook has chapters on finding books and journal articles, using CD-ROM databases, discovering resources on the internet, developing critical thinking skills, and designing a search strategy. It would be a good idea to go through the Workbook (and take its computer-graded quizzes) before beginning a major research project.

Depending on the resources available and the length requirements of your assignment, you may find it necessary to widen or restrict the scope of your topic.