AU Library Guide to Researching

Topics in Women's Studies

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This guide is designed to help you become a more confident researcher by taking you through the steps involved in the research process and by highlighting some key online resources for research. It has been developed by AU Library in consultation with faculty and tutors from Women's Studies. If you need a librarian's assistance please use our Ask About a Research Topic Web form. This form lets you know what you can expect from us and asks you for information that will help us to help you.

What is the "research process"? The research process is a method for exploring and examining resources related to a particular topic. It encompasses a range of activities that can be divided into distinct steps.

  • begin by forming an understanding of what and how much information is needed.
  • think about the requirements of the assignment and gather background information on the topic.

  • prepare an action plan for seeking out the information you need.
  • state the topic in the form of a research question, break the research question down into concepts, determine appropriate search terms and construct search statements.

  • once you know what you need and have a plan for finding it you are ready to search, using tools such as library catalogues, journal databases and the World Wide Web.

  • think critically about and manage the information sources you located during the searching phase.

Instructions for using this guide:

Use the navigation buttons at the top of the page to move to each step. Arrows are provided at the bottom of the page to move forwards and backwards in the guide. If you wish to return to this introduction click on the "HOME" button. The guide is designed for you to read step by step, or you can jump to an area of interest.

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