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Research Basics

This guide illustrates the basic steps of the research process. Follow these steps to search for library resources related to your topic.


Welcome to the library! 

This research guide provides information about the basic research process from starting your research to citing your sources.

Can't find what you need?  Use the Chat Now box on the left to contact a librarian, call the Huskins Library main desk at (704) 878-3271, contact the Mooresville campus library at (704) 978-1356, or email

Steps in Research Process

This research guide is designed to teach you the basic steps of the research process.  Follow these steps to locate appropriate academic resources for your topic.

  • Identify Topic & Gather Background Information
  • Brainstorm Keywords
  • Construct Proper Search Strings
  • Evaluate Sources (Google vs. Library Databases)
  • Distinguish Between Popular & Scholarly Journals
  • Find Books & E-books
  • Find Articles
  • Plagiarism & Copyright
  • Create Proper Citations

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