Research Help

This guide will show you some basic tips on how to begin doing searching and research.

How to Organize Research

How to begin:

Start by keeping two things in mind at all times - BACKUPS, BACKUPS, BACKUPS and  Plagiarism

1. Before choosing a topic, THINK about your assignment.  

What is the final product?  A 10 page paper?  A group presentation?  A portfolio? 
This should help you think how MUCH material you need. (one book? 5? 3 articles? 15?)

Think about the assignment itself. Are you gathering opinions about a recent event? You'll want web sites, newspaper articles and possibly interviews. Interpretation of literature? Critical articles and books are needed. Your interpretation of a painting or statue? You need yourself! Think about what TYPE of material you need.


 2. Choose a topic  (one that INTERESTS you for a better result)

Look for sources on the AUP library webpage, in the library and on the web. Part of your job is critical thinking. You have to examine, choose, and evaluate your sources as well as the topic you are writing about!

Normally you should start at the library or library homepage for scholarly material. You have resources available to you that most of the world does NOT. Most of the databases and full text journals, books and articles available to you from the library homepage are NOT AVAILABLE FOR FREE over the internet. 


3. Find resources (check these links):

Journals/ejournals/Articles (DatabasesBrowse a list of Journals
How to find and evaluate an article.

Local Books/ebooks (AUP catalogBackground/ReferenceFree Books online)
How to find and evaluate a book.

Books in other Paris libraries and Document delivery (Other Paris Libraries - Catalogue Collectif de France(CCFr) - Système universitaire de documentation (Sudoc) - WorldCat)

Request an item in Interlibrary Loan.


4. Organize Research - notes/research log (Word file)/citation info

MLA format and Bibliography 
Citation/Annotation Help (What is a citation? How do I create one?) 
(Is there any easy way to organize citations??) 


5. Draft - revise - draft - final paper

Backups - backups - backups

As an information literate person, you should be able to:

  • Determine the extent of information needed
  • Access the needed information effectively and efficiently
  • Evaluate information and its sources critically
  • Incorporate selected information into one's knowledge base
  • Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose
  • Understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and access and use information ethically and legally*

These are necessary skills to write a good research paper, choose what website to order books from, and know what information to trust in all circumstances!

*"ACRL | Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education." ALA | Home - American Library Association. 02 July 2009 <>