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First Year Seminars: FYS 118-4 Wicked Problems

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Research Process

breakdown of research process with blocks from left right reading plan focus develop apply

Focus & Develop: Finding Sources

Library Catalog

Background Information

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Borrowing Articles, Book Chapters, or Books from Other Libraries

Interlibrary Loan

Occasionally, we may not have access to a book/book chapter or article you need. We will get a copy for you. Articles usually arrive in 24 hours. Books may take 4-7 days.

Develop - Evaluating Your Sources

Evaluating Sources

Think critically about information sources that you use to support your argument. 


  • Who is the author? What do you know about them?
  • What audience is the information intended for?
  • Is the information appropriate for the topic that you’re researching?
  • Is the information up-to-date? (This won’t always matter!)
  • Are sources cited either in the text or in a bibliography at the end? (Sometimes this is important. Sometimes it isn’t. It depends on the type of source and how you're using it.)

Apply - When Should You Cite?

When should you cite a source?

  • When quoting
  • When paraphrasing someone else's ideas
  • When using a statistic or direct fact
  • When you are using someone else's work as a theoretical framework/interpretive lens
  • When you are relying upon data collected by someone else
  • When you are relying on opinions or interpretations articulated by someone else