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Research Skills Tutorial: Home

Intended to help you develop the skills required to complete research assignments

Welcome

Welcome to the Research Skills Tutorial. This tutorial teaches you how to find and use sources for your research assignments.

Use the tabs at the top of the page to visit different pages. 

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Joe Haigh
Contact:
Contact: 604-683-8360 ext. 254
Columbia College Library Hours
Monday-Thursday 8:30 am - 7:00 pm
Friday 8:30 am - 6:00 pm
Saturday 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
Sundays & Statutory Holidays Closed
604-683-8360 ext. 253
library@columbiacollege.ca

Useful Guides

Research Help

Need research help? 

Need to find sources for your assignment but not sure where to start? Found a few sources, but need to find specific information? Having trouble determining whether the sources you are using are credible?

Ask a Librarian!

Key Resources

Key Resources

Research FAQs

There are a few ways to find articles from the library's website. 

To search all article databases at once: 

1. Go to the library's homepage.

2. Scroll down until you see the search bar 

3. Enter keywords related to your topic & hit search

A screenshot of the library's website

To search in a specific database:

1. Go to the library's homepage.

2. Click on "Databases (A-Z)" 

3. Select the database you want to search from the list

4. Search the database using keywords or short phrases. Watch the video below for more tips on searching Academic Search Complete. 

University of British Columbia. (2015, July 15). Academic Search Complete. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEdCwq9H0LM.
 

1. Go to the library's homepage

2. Scroll down until you see the search bar 

3. Enter keywords related to your topic or the title of a book & hit search

4. Use the options on the left-hand side to limit to print books or books (which will include ebooks)

Gif showing how to limit to just books in the EDS

The words scholarly and academic are often used interchangeably. Academic sources:

  • Are written by academics who are considered experts on a topic
  • Intended for other experts to read
  • Based on original research 
  • Provide citations for all sources used
  • Are usually peer-reviewed by other experts on the topic before being published

To learn more, check out the Find Articles page on this tutorial.

Look for these clues:

  • References provided at the end of chapters or the end of the book
  • References used are academic sources. Look to see that journals and books are cited rather than popular websites and magazines.
  • Uses language that is specific to the discipline. Does it appear that the authors intended their work to be read by other experts? If so, it may be an academic source.
  • Expert author with credentials provided. Check the back of the book for information about the author.
  • Published by a University press or professional organization 

  • Make sure you are using keywords to search
  • If your first search doesn't get useful results, try replacing your keywords with synonyms
  • Make sure you are using formal language as keywords 
  • See the Find Articles page for more help

If you're still stuck, come see a librarian for more help! 

First, make sure the source you are using meets your assignment requirements. For example, avoid using websites if your instructor tells you to only use scholarly articles.

For more tips on evaluating sources, see the evaluating sources page for more information on finding reliable sources. 

Video: How Can the Librarians Help Me?