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The Research Process

Quick Tip

Wikipedia is a great reference source for gathering background information on your topic, but citing a Wikipedia entry in your research paper is not recommended. Instead, view the references at the bottom of entry to discover more authoritative sources on your topic.

Searching the Web

Sometimes you need to search the Web because it is the best place to find certain kinds of information sources, especially gray literature and primary sources. Some examples include:

  • government documents
  • digitized primary sources from museums, historical societies, and other cultural institutions
  • reports and white papers from non-profit organizations and NGOs

Beyond what you can find using general search engines, like Google, there is Google Scholar, which searches:

  • books
  • scholarly articles
  • conference papers
  • case law
  • U.S. patents (if you choose to include them)

If you access Google Scholar from on-campus or from the link above, a note will appear next to any result with full-text access available through Lenoir-Rhyne. It should look like this:

Simply clicking on the link "Full-text @ Lenoir-Rhyne" should redirect you to the full-text of the item. Never pay for access to an article you find online. If we don't have it, we can get it through Interlibrary Loan (ILL)!

You may also consider using a list of recommended Web sites, sometimes called a subject directory. Many library web sites also recommend Web sites in different categories, such as those listed on this and other research guides.

Recommended Web Sources