Top Ten Research Best Practices First, take advantage of all the resources available to you in the libraries and at library.fandm.edu
1. Ask Us - in person, via email, chat, phone or text - there are highly knowledgeable people who can help with any stage of your research. Ask at a desk in either library or see the blue tab at the top right of our web site.
2. Use the scholarly resources here at F&M - we have 180 databases, 500,000+ books, 95,000 journals, accessible through our catalog, Subject Guides, Class Guides and A-Z list.
Second, think about these productive approaches to writing a paper or working on a research project:
6. Take Early Steps - Understand the assignment, note any deadlines given, choose a topic you will enjoy, and create a sketch or outline.
7. Consult - Refine your topic by discussing ideas with your professor or a librarian. Feel free to talk with us at any time in the research process. Make a research appointment, or just walk in and ask.
8. Work - Gather articles and books and build a bibliography. Use the items described in #2 and #3 above to get more resources than you need to do the project, then employ only the best. While our online resources are pretty amazing, know that not everything will be available in digital form. Remember that research means to re-search, search again and again.
9. Stay Flexible - After some work, your original idea or thesis might change, and that’s a good thing. The ability to learn, to take in new ideas and use them, makes for a better end product.
10. Take Later Steps - If you turned in a draft, respond to any feedback offered. Consult with us again if needed. Create an updated version of your paper or project. Cite your resources, and if you’re unsure about how to do that, ask us.