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April 27 , 2011

The Elements of Library Research

What Every Student Needs to Know


To do solid academic research, college students need to look beyond the computer search engine. This short, practical book introduces students to the important components of the information-seeking process. The Elements of Library Research provides a foundation for success in any research assignment, from a freshman paper to a senior thesis.

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Unlike guides that describe the research process but do not explain its logic, this book focuses entirely on basic concepts, strategies, tools, and tactics for research – in both electronic and print formats. Drawing on decades of experience with undergraduates, reference librarian Mary George arms students with the critical thinking skills and procedures they need to approach any academic project with confidence.

  • Ways to turn a topic into a research question
  • Techniques for effective online searches
  • How to evaluate primary and secondary sources
  • When and how to confer with reference librarians and faculty
  • How to avoid plagiarism
  • Glossary of key terms, from Boolean search to peer review
  • Checklists, timelines, and hints for successful research projects
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