RIT Libraries: How Do I....?: Intro

Information on how to use and navigate the RIT Library resources

About this Guide

This guide is designed to help you, the student, with several aspects of finding and using information.  In this guide you will learn:

  • how to navigate several different information resources provided by the RIT Libraries.
  • how to choose the correct databases to use for your project.
  • tips for searching databases that will maximize your results.
  • guidance for choosing the best sources for your project.
  • how to correctly cite the sources you use.
  • where to get writing help and feedback.

Most importantly, this guide will help you to become familiar with the many different resources provided by the RIT Libraries.

All images on this guide are either created by the guide maker, or courtesy of Creative Commons.

Selecting a Research Topic

Here are some tips for choosing a topic to do your research on:

  • Choose a topic you are interested in! You are more likely to enjoy your research (and find better information) if you are exploring something that you truly care about.
  • Identify the "5 Ws" associated with your topic:

  • If your topic is very broad, narrow it down to something more specific.
  • Check you lecture notes to see if you have discussed this topic in class.
  • Discuss your ideas with a friend or classmate.  That person may have some valuable ideas that you didn't originally consider when coming up with your topic, and if not, discussing it out loud will help you organize your thoughts.

Remember, these are general tips for choosing a topic, but your course instructor may have more specific guidelines.  Always review the guidelines for selecting a topic that are outlined in your assignment.  Ask your instructor or TA for further guidance.

Ideas for "Selecting a Research Topic" inspired by MIT Libraries.

Your Librarians

Did you know that every college on campus has its own librarian?  This means that you can get specialized help with your research from someone who has an understanding of your field of study!

Click this link to find out which librarian you should talk to for answers in your area of research.

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Use of RIT resources is reserved for current RIT students, faculty and staff for academic and teaching purposes only.
Please contact your librarian with any questions.

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