Start Your Research


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1. Decide on a topic and find background information

2. Find articles in journals or magazines 

3. Evaluate sources

As you search, critically evaluate the sources you find to determine if they'll contribute to your project. Consider the following when determining if a source will be useful for your research:

  • Author: Who wrote this article? Does the author have any relevant expertise or credentials? Does the author have connections to groups/interests that might indicate bias? 
  • Author's point of view: What is the author's argument or perspective on this topic? Is it relevant to your topic, and does it give you new insights or information that contributes to your project?
  • Evidence: How does the author support their argument or point of view? 
  • Quality of evidence: Is the author's evidence convincing? Look for evidence that is based on research, rather than emotions or anecdotes.
  • What's missing from this source? What kinds of additional information or perspectives would be helpful to have?

4. Find research help

Use our Library Ask Us! service which connects you directly to librarians:

    • Call the Research & Information line at 218-726-8100
    • Email libaskus@d.umn.edu
    • Stop by our offices located on the second floor of the library 
    • Contact your Personal Librarian directly for an appointment