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How-to guides

New to college-level research or CSUDH? Use the how-to videos, tutorials, and handouts on this page to start and finish your research project! If you need help at any part of the research process, ask a librarian!

Resource Icons

= Video
= Tutorial or online activity
= Handout or guide

Choose a Topic

First, choose and develop a topic you're interested in!

Web browser with search bar and text cursor.
Turn Questions into Keywords

A brief video from UCLA on brainstorming keywords for your search strategy.

Preview of concept map.
Mapping Your Research Ideas

 A visual tool for narrowing a research topic, generating ideas, and asking questions.

Web browser with search bar and text cursor.
Developing Keywords

An interactive tutorial on developing research questions, keywords, and narrowing a topic.

Preview of Choosing a Topic handout.
Research Topic Tips

Suggestions and questions to ask for formulating a research topic for your assignment.


Use Search Tools

Use online and library search tools to explore your topic and find sources.

Web browser with text on the left and OneSearch on the right.

A short video on using OneSearch to find books and articles available through the library.

Web browser with text on the left and OneSearch on the right.

A quick tutorial on using OneSearch to find library materials with hands-on practice.

Preview of Choosing a Library Database video.
Choosing a Library Database

Find a list of library databases and filter by subject to find database for your topic or major.

Preview of Searching in a Library Database video.
Searching in a Library Database

How to use keywords and connectors to search in a library database.

Preview of OneSearch v. a subject database infographic.
OneSearch v. a Subject Database

A flow chart of when to use OneSearch or a specialized library database.

Preview of Advanced database searching infographic.
Advanced Database Searching

An infographic for using AND, OR, NOT keyword connectors in a library database.


How Do I Find...

Looking for a specific kind of source? 

Preview of Looking for a Book? infographic
Books & eBooks

A quick guide to finding books in the library, including online textbooks and course reserves.

Preview of Gerth Archives Primary Source Research and Discovery Guide
Primary Sources

An introduction to identifying, finding, and analyzing primary sources at CSUDH and online.

Preview of Searching for .gov Sources video.
Statistics and .Gov Sources

Searching in Google using to find government web pages and statistics.

Preview of Company Research video.
Company Research

Find company information through Google and SWOT analyses in a library database.

Preview of Legal Sources video with scale surrounded by document, book, folder, clip board, and paper icons.
Legal Research

Find primary and secondary legal sources in WestLaw and Google Scholar.

Preview of Finding Tests and Measures video.
Finding Tests and Measures

Find tests and measures to use for a research project in PsycTESTS.


Read & Evaluate Sources

What makes the information you find credible? What about scholarly?

Preview of All About Peer Review guide.
All About Peer Review

+ + A mix of resources about peer review and reading research articles.

Cover of Anatomy of a Research Article.
Anatomy of a Research Article

A brief guide to the parts of a research article. Focus on the abstract and the discussion.

Paper with magnifying glass.
Evaluating Information

A tutorial on evaluating information, including popular and scholarly, peer-review sources.

Preview of Cognitive Bias infographic.
Avoiding Cognitive Bias

Examples of cognitive bias and information practices.

Preview of Evaluating Web Sources infographic.
Evaluating Web Sources

Questions to evaluate web sources based on audience, purpose, and evidence.

Preview of 4 Moves & a Habit infographic.
Fact Checking

A method for fact-checking specific claims for accuracy called "4 Moves & a Habit."

Preview of Evaluating Web Sources infographic.
Anatomy of a News Article

Look for context in a news article, such as the author, byline, and dateline.


Cite & Write About Your Research

Use and cite sources in your paper! 

Preview of Evaluating Sources Using BEAM infographic.
Ways to Use Sources

Ways to use sources in a research project for background, evidence, argument, or method.

Preview of Literature Review infographic.
Literature Reviews

Tips for finding and using sources in a literature review.

Preview of What is an annotated bibliography infographic handout.
Annotated Bibliographies

Introduction to the purpose and conventions of annotated bibliographies.

Preview of CSUDH Library Citation Guide

Guides for using citation styles such as APA and MLA.

Papers with blank text and check mark.
Understanding Academic Integrity

A tutorial on plagiarism, academic integrity, and citing sources.


Advanced Research

Preview of web browser and Zotero library.
Systematic Reviews

Introduction to finding and conducting systematic or integrative reviews.

Preview of citation management guide.
Citation Management

Guides for using database account and citation management software.

Preview of journal metrics infographic.
Journal Metrics

 An overview of various metrics to determine the impact of a particular journal.

Preview of measurement infographic.
Test Measurement

 Steps in the develop process to determine the validity and reliability of a test instrument.