Research Strategy - Lurleen B. Wallace Community College

Where and How to Begin
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
• What is it?
• Information Literacy is the set of skills
needed to find, retrieve, analyze, and use
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 comes from a variety of sources:
Government agencies
How do I begin?
• Begin by knowing the details of the
• Short essay,10 page paper, electronic
• Types of sources required - Books, eBooks,
Journals, Media Clips, Internet sites, etc.
• Develop a research strategy for selecting
a topic.
Research Strategy
Topic Selection
Sources for Topic Selection
• Course Textbook
• Headline News
• Topical databases
(Opposing Viewpoints Resource
• 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
• 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
• 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?
Begin with the Library web pages. Note the
Library Homepage
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
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
• Combining of more than one search
Boolean Operators
• And (retrieves records with both terms)
• Or (retrieves records in which at least one term is
• Not (retrieves records in which only one of the terms
is present)
example: global warming AND India
Results list for search
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
• Available 24/7
• Personal accounts expire after 18 months without
Create account here
Enter search terms here
Search terms
Click here to view
Navigation tools
Table of contents and book cover
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.
• 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
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 fo
Search results
Click here for full-text
Display of full-text articles (PDF format)
Printing from the AVL
• Read abstracts first
• Use print buttons within the database;
not under File
• Must have Adobe Reader to print PDF
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
• 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
Start Early – Finish First
• Select topic and formulate search
• Begin with
• Locate and review sources
• Analyze information
• Avoid Plagiarism when writing
• Note citation information
• ASK for assistance