As stated earlier on several occasions, the library is an excellent place to locate a study "hideaway" with few distractions. When you start doing research for a paper it becomes a mandatory place to be, not only to work, but to collect a major portion of the data you will need to put the paper together. That is to say, if you expect to turn in a well-prepared paper with any depth to it, you had best spend some time in the library. The amount of time actually required will depend on the quality of paper you desire to author and how well you know your way around the library. To put it another way, you can waste an enormous amount of time if you do not know how to find the books and reference materials you need to do your research. More than likely you will find something in this section that will be new information to you. Review the information carefully so you have a good idea of what is going on when you walk in the front door.
Before starting any research, you should understand that you may discover more information available on your subject than you need or have the time to browse through. The best plan usually is to take a look at the most recent material first, as well as from well-known sources that may be expected to have more complete and accurate information. Take a look at several other sources to get a broader scope of opinion and background on your subject. Just don't overdo with too much information to plow through.
Resource information may come from "primary" or "secondary" sources. Primary resources are those writings prepared by people who were actually witness to the event as it happened, either as participants or on-lookers. Secondary resources are those writings from people who did not witness the event or participate in it, but who have studied the subject or event and researched it to the point they think themselves qualified to write on it. They may or may not have an opinion or agenda to get across, but you should be conscious of the possibility and move to another resource if you feel like you are being given one side of a two-sided story. Primary sources are generally regarded as the most trustworthy.
Last Updated: 08/20/2013