Research is an iterative process. What does that mean? You will repeat the search process over and over. However, you will be learning about your topic each time. Keywords and areas of interest within your topic will be revealed. This is the foundation of your research. As you gain knowledge you will understand how to narrow and focus your topic. The next tab in this guide is about narrowing your topic and refining your research.
But first begin thinking about evaluating information and managing the information you find. See below.
The Three Rs : Recent? Reliable? Relevant?
When you don't use articles in LSC databases you need to evaluate those articles.
Is this source up-to-date?
Is it about my topic?
Does it go into enough depth?
Does it come from an authoritative source?
Is the information accurate (and are there citations given to back it up)?
Purpose - why was this information written in the first place?
Alternatively, you can look at information evaluation based on C R A A P. Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose.
Your process to capture sources and citations will be very individual, but be consistent and choose a tool to help organize your research. Some suggested tools:
OneDrive - 1 TB free storage for Lone Star College students.
Evernote - The basic version is free. Works across all mobile devices. Create notebooks for each course or writing assignment. Be sure to download the Web Clipper as well.
ZoteroBib is a free citation tool that supports MLA, APA, CMOS, and thousands of others. Use this instead of the full Zotero if you just need some quick citations.