Introduction to Research Tutorials

Learn basic research skills with these short tutorials.

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Why watch?

Watch this video to learn:

  • how to think about your topic
  • get background information about your topic

Thinking Through Your Topic

This video is approximately 2 minutes. You can pause or rewind at any time using the controls below.


This video will help you learn how to think about your topic, and how to find background information about it. Let’s consider the topic of “the car, from cradle to grave”. Where do you start? What is “cradle to grave”, and where do you go to find that out?

You can start by using Google to come up with new ideas and search terms. At a glance, you can find some useful ideas, but be aware that there may also be some unrelated results mixed in. Now we know that “cradle to grave” is also called “life cycle assessment”. You can also try using some of Google’s other features to get more ideas. For example, you can use Google’s Advanced Search to get a bit more in-depth in your searches. You can use the ORs, for example, to search for several phrases at once. The quotes show that something is being considered a phrase, and that Google will search for the whole phrase, not just one of the words it includes. You can also limit your search to specific domains, like .edu or .org.

You can use these results as a starting point in your research, but keep in mind that anyone can create a website. You should consider using resources like Summon or Google Scholar to find more scholarly resources.