Student Strategies: Research


By Liam Olson

Research is necessary for almost any academic thing you do. Whether it is a research paper, project, or sometimes even a forum post, they all require some sort of background information.

For junior psychology major Liz Espinoza, research is important for academic work. She uses some of the library databases on the library’s website that are specific to her major to help her get the right information for her work. Not only that but she said that Google Scholar is helpful for sifting through research as well.

“It’s [research] the only way to test a hypothesis,” Espinoza said.

Senior zoology major Nicole Gutierrez has a few tips as well for navigating the large amount of research out there. She said that while looking at normal articles on the web, it is important to look at the website source and make sure it is a credible publication. It is also important to look at the author of the source to make sure that they have background on the subject area they are talking about.

Gutierrez uses the large selection of library databases to more easily find credible research. One tip she has for students who need help figuring out if an article is peer reviewed is to click on the peer reviewed option in the search criteria of the research databases.

“Stick to research databases so you know you’re getting credible information,” Gutierrez said.

However, the library website is the not the only place to find resources for research. The library also offers in person research help with a librarian at the Library Research Help desk. Special Collections Librarian Carly Marino, is one of the librarians that helps students at the help desk. She said that the Research Help desk offers students help with developing research topics, learning how to search the library databases, and making citations.

“It’s a one stop shop for research needs,” said Marino.

One of the tips Marino gives students is to keep searches down to keywords to get the most relevant search results. She also recommends to look at subject specific research guides put together by the Humboldt State librarians. These guides help students get a starting point for beginning research in the subject they are writing about.

Special Collections Librarian Carly Marino is one of the librarians that helps students at the research help desk | Photo by Liam Olson

According to Marino, the library also has various SkillShops available for free to students. Some of these upcoming SkillShops teach students how to make citations and bibliographies which are an essential skills to learn for research papers and projects. The upcoming SkillShops can be found on the HSU library website.

With these tips and tricks as well as the large amount of resources available, you’ll easily be able to get an A on that final paper.

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