How to Research
This page is here to help you begin the research process. It covers where to find reliable resources, locating your sources (search strategies), and evaluating sources. You can start searching NewSchool resources via our Research Page. Find articles, browse digital magazines, read ebooks, and more!
Top 5 Places to Find Information
#1) The Library Catalog for BOOKS!
Search the NewSchool Library Catalog via the library website to find books, ebooks and past student thesis in our collection.
#2) Library Databases for Journal Articles
Search five databases simultaneously through EBSCO to find resources on architecture, design, construction and related topics.
#3) Subject Guides for resources by topic.
#4) The San Diego Central Library
This 9 story public library is just six blocks from NewSchool. It's free! With a San Diego Public Library Card you can also access The San Diego Circuit to search the collection of SDSU, UCSD and USD and request resources through interlibrary loan!
#5) Google Scholar
Google Scholar is a great tool to search for articles online. If the article is available for download, it will have a PDF icon on the right-hand side of the search result.
Basic Research Skills Video Tutorial
Unsure where to start? This Lynda.com Information Literacy Tutorial is an in-depth look at the research process for visual majors. This award-winning video series will get you right where you need to be. However, you need an account to view this material.. Enter your NewSchool email address here to sign up
7 Habits of a Good Researcher
The Research Process
The research process is not linear-- it does not go from point A to B. Instead, you may find yourself going back and forth between steps, refining your topics as you discover more information, or changing your thesis statement to be either more broad or narrow, depending. This is a natural part of the process. Don't be discouraged!
Lymann Beecher Brooks Library.
You can jump straight into some background research, or you may want to start by defining your topic. This step is found in our How to Write an Academic Paper guide.
Guidelines on Where to Find Quality Sources
Just like the best meals start with quality ingredients, so does the best research papers start with quality information sources. This video gives a brief explanation of what scholarly resources are, and where to find them.
The best information comes from secondary
sources that have been created by experts:
Less quality information comes from sources
that do not necessarily require an expert to write
or critique them, such as:
|The most unreliable information comes from:||
Locate Your Sources : The Search
Evaluate Your Sources
Great Job! You've found some materials on your topic from a variety of sources: websites, books, and journals. Next, you need to evaluate the quality of the information. Be skeptical. Ask yourself, is this information CRAAP?
Current: When was this source published? How recent is this information, and is there somewhere that has more up-to-date information?
Relevant: Does this information relate directly to my topic, or is it covering something else?
Accurate: Can I cross-check the facts in this source? Do they include a bibliography so that you can see where they got their information? Does the information in here corroborate with other sources on the same topic?
Authoritative: Who wrote this paper? Are they an expert? What type of source is this? (newspaper, website etc.)
Purposeful: What is the purpose of this paper? Can you see any bias or conflict of interest?
Remember, academic papers are expected to have good quality sources. Only use sources that pass the CRAAP test.
Cite your Sources
Now that you've found and evaluated all your sources, you need to use the information to inform your paper. Using information that you did not create requires you to cite your sources (otherwise you are plagiarizing!). Use the APA Citation Help guide to walk you through using information ethically.
The pages associated with this Research and Writing guide have been informed by the following sources:
Association of College and Research Libraries (2014).Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. American Library Association. Retrieved from: http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/visualliteracy
Lymann Beecher Brooks Library, Introduction to Research: Research Process/How to... retrieved from http://libguides.nsu.edu/c.php?g=179148&p=1192526.
Purdue Online Writing Lab. (2012). APA Formatting and Style Guide. Purdue University. Retrieved from: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/
Walden Online Writing Center. (2014). Writing Resources. Walden University. Retrieved from: http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/writingcenter/home
Content is used under the Creative Commons Attribuiton-Non-Commercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Lisence
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RICHARD WELSH LIBRARY at NewSchool of Architecture +Design
1249 F Street San Diego CA 92101
619 684 8783