Sullivan Family Library | Start Research

Starting Your Research

This page will help get you started in how to find what you need for your research.

The Assignment | Searching for the Information | Citations | Assignment Calculator

The Assignment

Take a look at your syllabus to find out:

    1. What is the exact assignment?
    2. What types of sources are you expected to use (journal articles, books)?
    3. How many of each type (2 articles, 1 book)?
    4. How long is your paper / speech? 10 pages? 10 minutes?

Talk to your instructor if you are not certain about any of these. Knowing the parameters and expectations of your assignment will be helpful and save you time when doing research for your topic.

Searching for the Information

Information can be found in two formats:

Hardcopy (or print) – published on paper
Electronic – search the library website

Journal Articles

What are they best used for?  How can I find them?

  • Recent, specific research information
  • Print (published on paper) or electronic (online)


Journal articles from many journals are amalgamated into different online databases, which jumble the articles together either in a hodgepodge of subjects (Academic Search Premier) or into specific subjects (e.g. Criminal Justice database or PsycArticles or Business). Articles in databases are generally not found by using Google.

You can also try OneSearch - which allows you to search through multiple databases at the same time. Use the provided link or the OneSearch tab on the library website.


What are they best used for?  How can I find them?

  • Overview and/or more broad coverage of a topic
  • Print (published on paper) or electronic (online)

Books are available as:

  • Reference (if print, they’re library-use only)
  • Available for checkout
  • As electronic books
  • Some Reference sources are online

Research by Subject (online databases, websites, print resources)

For research by general subject area and other special research (e.g., Marianists), this link takes you to guides created by the librarians.

Citation Help

As is stated in your Student Handbook, you are expected to and will be required to provide citations for your coursework. Citations are references of where you acquired your information, who the author was, and when this information was originally published.

Assignment Calculator

To help you plan your time and guide you through the writing process.