What is Research?

“Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose.”
~Zora Neale Hurston, Dust Tracks on a Road (1942)

1960s student using a microfilm reader.
Olin Library, 1961.

Conceptualizing Research: Seven Steps

  1. Identify Your Initial Research Topic
    Pose your topic as a question

  2. Starting Points: Use Reference Sources for Background and Context on a Subject
    Find articles that summarize the topic, explain key concepts, define terminology and much more

  3. Find Books
    Find items held at Cornell (books, journals, and everything else we own)

  4. Find Articles
    Find articles, essays, book chapters and monographs

  5. Requesting items not available at Cornell
    BorrowDirect and Interlibrary Loan

  6. Evaluate your sources
    Some tips on how to evaluate the sources you've found

  7. Cite your sources
    Guides and Resources for preparing your bibliography

  8. Getting Help
    Ask a Librarian!