Researching isn't complicated, but it can take some time to do it the right way. Researching requires you to think about a few things before you start:
1) What exactly is my topic?
Writing down what it is you want to write about in one succinct sentence gives you some keywords to use in your search.
2) What types of resources do I need?
A. Journal articles? Do you want journal articles or books, book chapters, videos, newspaper or magazine articles?
B. Academic/scholarly? Do you want articles that summarize research and are written by a expert/researcher?
C. Peer-reviewed? Do you want articles describing research findings that have been reviewed by many experts to make sure it is quality research?
With these things decided, the next thing you need to do is your search. Instead of a search on Google, try searching Discover@Hinds on the library's home page. Discover@Hinds is like Google except that it is searching millions of dollars worth of journals, books, videos and newspapers purchased by Hinds Libraries and the state of Mississippi (your tax dollars). Most of this would not be available freely on Google plus Google would have tons of websites, blogs and other resources that probably wouldn't be suitable for serious research. To use Discover@Hinds, type 2 or 3 of the keywords from your topic sentence into the search box. Once you get a list of results, use the limiters on the left side of the page to limit to academic, peer-reviewed, etc.
Evaluate Your Sources Before Deciding
From your new list of results, read several abstracts (summaries) before deciding which you will use. The summaries can be found by clicking on the title of the article. Keep an open mind as you read. If a research article doesn't 'jive' with what you were expecting, don't dismiss it out of hand. Check a few things to see if it is reliable:
1) Introduction and Literature review
5) Conclusion and what further research is still needed as a result
For more resources on researching and evaluating sources, see our "Evaluating Sources" section.
Hinds Community College Learning Resource Centers support the institutional mission not only by providing resources, but also by providing instruction in finding and using resources. Librarians are ready to assist you not only within the library, but also by presenting a customized instruction session for your class. This instruction session can be tailored to a specific assignment or to a specific subject.
To request an instructional session for your class, please fill out the form below. After the session, please take the survey, with the link located on the right side of the page, so that we will know how we are doing and how we can improve our instruction.
If you have any further questions, please call the Reference Desk at 601-857-3378 or e-mail at LRCRaymondCirculation@hindscc.edu, or contact the Administrative Librarian for your campus Learning Resource Center (links for contact information are provided in the box bottom left.)