As you begin to think about your assignment, consider how you find and evaluate your supporting materials. This research guide walks you through the basics of the research process, and how to find library resources to support your assignment. Give yourself time to search on your own, ask a librarian for guidance, and go back to your instructor if you need help.
When determining sources that will be good for your research topic, remember to ask these questions:
1. What type of source does my instructor want me to use (i.e. primary vs. secondary, popular vs. scholarly, etc.)?
2. What type of source is appropriate for my argument? (For example, you can support a statement such as "the rate of obesity in the United States has grown in recent years" by citing a scholarly article or government statistics source on the topic, perhaps showing rate of change over time.)
3. Where do I find the type of source I need? (See the Primary Sources or Secondary Sources tabs)
4. How do I search using the UT library databases? (See the General Search Tips and Strategies guide)
5. How do I use my sources appropriately? (See our tutorial on Citing Sources)
General Search Tips and Strategies
Choosing a Topic
The following resources are the online equivalent to reference books like encyclopedias. They can be helpful as a starting place for general information on a variety of topics.