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Introduction
The University of Pennsylvania is committed to giving its students a well-rounded education. As the mission statement of the College of Arts and Sciences emphasizes, the goal of the University of Pennsylvania "is to help students to become knowledgeable about the world and the complexities of today's society, aware of moral, ethical, and social issues, prepared to exercise intellectual leadership, and enlivened by the use of their minds." Developing critical and analytical skills by engaging in serious research activities is a primary means of achieving this mission.
Whatever types of research you engage in, you will need to use scholarly resources. At the Penn Libraries you have access to millions of books, articles, and other materials. Making effective use of these resources can be a challenge! You need a clear idea of the question you are asking, the information required to address it, and how to locate, evaluate and use that information. Indeed, these needs make the research process appear an impenetrable labyrinth.
Evaluating information
Use criteria such as credibility, accuracy, relevance, and currency to evaluate the information you locate.
Documentation
Document your research using standard scholarly methods and styles.
Help
Contact a librarian for further assistance.
Did you know?
...that the Library offers dozens of workshops each semester? Workshops cover a variety of topics, from web searching techniques to Power Point & RefWorks, to discipline- & subject-based topics. Browse the current offerings and register online.
Contents
Working with topics
The first step: Develop a research question that is appropriate for your assignment - interesting and neither too broad nor too narrow.
Types of information
Determine which types of information (primary or secondary resources, scholarly or popular, etc.) are relevant to answering your question.
Sources of information
Identify the information resources that are most likely to have the types of information that you need: would you be best served by using books, scholarly articles, magazines, newspapers, the Web, or something else?
Locating Information
Locate the information you need by using the Library's navigational tools.
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