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How to Research: Start Here

Just getting started on a research paper or project? Don't know where to start? This is the guide for you!

Read Your Assignment

The first step is understanding your assignment. Read it thoroughly and note any specific requirements:

  • Type of assignment (essay, poster, report, debate, annotated bibliography, literature review, presentation)
  • Number of sources required
  • Types of sources required (articles, books, videos, etc.)
  • Citation format (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.)

Ask your instructor about anything you don't understand.

Keep Notes

A useful strategy to manage your research is to keep notes as you go. Take clear, accurate notes about where you found specific ideas, and, as you consult sources and make notes, keep a list of the sources you used.

There are many ways that you can keep notes to manage your research and citations more easily:

  • Use index cards or a notebook.
  • Start building your References page as you find your sources.
  • Use citation management software such as Mendeley or Zotero.

Helpful Resources

Managing your time to complete an assignment is essential. There are many resources available at MHC to help you get started, stay organized, and receive feedback.

About this Guide

Research lends credibility to your own thoughts and ideas.
This guide will help you with the steps in the research process.
Each part of the guide reviews a different research skill and explains specific search tools at MHC.


Creative Commons Licence: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada 

Library Guides Content (Red Deer College Library) / CC BY-NC-SA 2.5

This "How To Research" guide was created by Red Deer College Library. MHC Libraries has modified the content to include resources available at Medicine Hat College.

Library Research Tools