You may think of librarians as the guardians of books and quietness, but most of them like nothing more than to help their students find the information they need with the perfect book or resource. They would much rather help you find exactly what you’re looking for than to let you spend hours aimlessly digging through the stacks.
If you can make friends with your school’s librarians, you will be hard-pressed to find better resources for research papers anywhere.
In addition to helping you track down research material, librarians can guide you to and through all the libraries other resources. This can include digital databases, online publications, sister libraries, online and physical card catalogs, etc.
If your campus doesn’t have a library, don’t fret! Although local libraries are often smaller than campus ones, many of them offer similar tools and have a wide range of research that you can utilize for a successful paper.
Many schools have independent Writing Centers that may be tied to their library system. These are in-school resources that are built specifically to help students write better papers. They are literally there to help you.
While they won't do all the work for you, they are invaluable tools to learn about writing and how to improve.
Learning how to work with your library’s online databases may be one of the first things you want to do when starting research. These digital treasure troves accumulate hundreds and thousands of journal entries into one location for easy searching. And, there are hundreds of individual databases that are targeted at specific fields of research. There are databases for almost anything - from zoology to quantum mechanics to literature. Two of the most popular databases are EBSCOHost and ProQuest. Getting acquainted with these resources is a must for any serious researcher.
These are like normal academic journals, except they are digital. This means that it is a lot easier to navigate, search, and utilize them. Many times e-journals are accessed through the same website or portal as your library database. While not as comprehensive as databases, finding a journal dedicated to your specific area of study can help you find articles that a database may overlook.