Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Getting Started with Library Research at Seneca: Welcome

library research tutorial welcome image


This is a beginner's guide to library research and aims to provide students with instruction and tools for finding and evaluating resources within the framework of the research process.

Basic Research Process:

Although there are steps listed below, the research process is not linear. You may find yourself jumping back and forth between steps.

Generate your draft topic idea. The reason it's a draft is because you may refine your topic at any point in the research process depending on what you learn about your topic or the results you retrieve.
Do some preliminary or "background" searching to determine a baseline of knowledge for yourself on the topic and to develop a list of keywords to use in your searching.
Based on your search results, make a list of keywords that are used for your topic, and generate a list of alternate keywords. Are there multiple terms that could be used to describe the same thing? That will be useful when searching for resources.
Begin your research using academic sources, such as Library Search to find articles or books on your topic.
Based on what you are finding, you may want to revise your search or refine the keywords or filters you are using to make sure you are finding relevant results.
Evaluate the resources you are finding to determine if they are reliable but also if they are relevant to your topic. If you are finding many resources on a different theme you may choose to refine your topic again, or you may choose to revise your search strategy to find more relevant resources.