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

Identify Your Initial Research Topic
Pose your topic as a question

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

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

Find Articles
Find articles, essays, book chapters and monographs

Requesting items not available at Cornell
BorrowDirect and Interlibrary Loan

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

Cite your sources
Guides and Resources for preparing your bibliography

Getting Help
Ask a Librarian!