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Research Guides

Do you need help researching a paper? We’re here to help. Check out our research guides below.

Research is Key to Academic Excellence

Knowing how to pick a topic and conduct good research are essential to writing a good paper for any subject. In the video below, you will learn how to do that!

Picking a Topic

Once you have identified your topic and identified keywords for your research, it’s time to find background information on your topic, search the library’s databases, and search the library’s catalogs.

Background information sources help you understand the broader context of your research and tell you in general terms what is known about your topic. Sources of this type of information include encyclopedias, dictionaries, textbooks, book chapters, and authoritative websites.

Online Encyclopedias & Dictionaries
A great online collection of reference books is Gale Virtual Reference Library.

Book Chapters from non-reference books
A good online source for accessing chapters of books is: JSTOR


Easley Library Databases help you find articles from magazines, scholarly journals, and newspapers as well as videos, interviews, and podcasts.  Your professor will instruct you as to what type of sources you need, how many of each type, and the time period in which they were published. Need help using the Easley library database? We have you covered, check out our how-to guide to using Easley Library’s databases.

Search Databases

Search Databases with Keywords


The Easley Library Catalog helps you find what print books and e-books the library has as well as print journals and DVDs.  You can search for books in our Appalachian College Association Consortium libraries as well.

The World Catalog helps you discover other books that have been published that the library does not have.

Books at other libraries in Easley Library’s Catalog or the World Catalog can be requested through Easley Library’s Inter-library loan.

Need help finding your way around Easley Library’s Catalog? We have you covered with a how-to guide for you there too.

NOTE:  Remember to look at the “Bibliography” or “Further Reading” section at the end of all of your sources.  Then look up these sources in either an article database or library catalog to discover if they will fit your topic.  By doing this you can develop a surprisingly large number of sources in a relatively short amount of time.

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