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Introduction to the SHU Library

Getting Started with Research


You might have a research topic assigned by your professor or you need to pick one out on your own. Depending on how specific or broad it is, you need to brainstorm ways of searching before diving into a database or even a Google search.

  • Break your topic down into keywords.

A keyword search will return records that include the words you entered, anywhere in the record – title, chapter heading, subject, etc. This can make a search very broad – but is also very useful in finding your topic in, say, just one chapter of a book. To narrow a too-broad keyword search, browse the subject links on records that are most relevant to your topic, and click to find other relevant materials.

  • Keep a log of your searches so you know what worked the best in a search


A good place to get started on your research is SHU Library's QuickSearch. 

QuickSearch is kind of like a Google search for SHU Library's resources. You can start with a general topic, and the search results will include different material types--books, articles, newspapers, magazines, and more.

Watch the video below to learn more about QuickSearch