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Lang Library Orientation Student Guide

Library Resources

What We Have

Libraries offer high-quality, authoritative resources for academic research.  We offer books, magazines, newspapers, videos, images, and more --  in print and online.


To access all library content from off-campus, sign into your account.  Click on the "Access Campus Library Services link" or "Libraries" in the Apps Menu.  On campus, you can go straight to and you need not sign in.

Start A Research Paper

Begin developing your research question.

Perform preliminary / contextual / exploratory research.  (Learn about Searching as Exploration.)

  • Search encyclopedias to find verifiable background information and bibliographies suggesting further sources. As a free encyclopedia that is edited by the public, Wikipedia cannot be completely relied on for accurate information and should never be cited in academic research. However, we can use it for basic background information and some entries have bibliographies with links to scholarly material that can be cited for your paper.
  • Search our databasesGeneral research databases (try Academic Search Complete and ProQuest) contain current and historical articles on almost any topic. Search an e-book database like Ebook Central and discover what literature exists on your topic.  To identify appropriate subject-specific resources:
  • Search Google Books or Google Scholar. Google Scholar provides access to scholarly articles and conference papers, many of them available online as PDF files. If you open Google Scholar when logged into the online catalog or MyNewSchool, you'll also have access to journal articles that are part of library databases. Do not pay to get the full text of any article. If you can't find the full text, Ask Us for help.


Create a mind map using or (or pen and paper) or use this search terms worksheet to help brainstorm keywords and concepts.

Determine what information is needed to answer your research question.  

  • What types of materials do you need to research your topic? Books? Articles? Images? Scholarly Journals? Magazines and Newspapers? Websites?
  • Which catalogs, databases, or other resources are needed to locate these materials?

Find materials 

Combine the amazing keywords that you've developed through preliminary research and brainstorming, with the search techniques that you learned during the library orientation, to search for relevant content.

Remember: Research is not a linear process!