Brainstorming Your Research Topic

Struggling to select a topic for your research assignment? Here are practical strategies to brainstorm a topic and begin to develop a research question.

Critical Reading Strategies for Research (Essential Questions)

Instructors often ask students to engage more deeply with sources when doing research and writing. But what does that mean, exactly? This video draws on educational psychology and instructional design theory to give students concrete strategies for engaging deeply and meaningfully with sources by asking “Essential questions” about the readings.

Evaluating Sources - currently only works on Firefox browser. See below for alternative tutorial.

NOTE: This tutorial needs updating. It currently only works on the Firefox browser. We apologize for the inconvenience. You may also consult a similar tutorial authored by our colleagues at the Hannon Library, Loyola Marymount University: https://whhlreference.lmu.build/tutorials/EvaluatingInfo/story.html

Not all sources are created equal! This tutorial covers the basics of how to tell if a source is appropriate for your assignment and research need.

Find Research Instruments in Instrument Databases

Learn to locate reliable and validated research instruments in instrument databases, such as Mental Measurements Yearbook, PsycTESTS, and Health and Psychosocial Instruments.

Find Research Instruments in Literature Databases

Learn to locate reliable and validated research instruments in literature databases, such as CINAHL, PsycINFO, and PubMed.

Getting Started on a Research Paper (Using Divergent Thinking)

Students often say that getting started is the hardest part of the research process. This may be, in part, because whereas most of our education teaches convergent thinking strategies (developing answers to linear questions with fixed answers and solutions), the research process requires a kind of creative, or “divergent” kind of thinking, where we consider multiple potential solutions for an open-ended problem. This video explains how students can use divergent thinking to interpret an assignment creatively and select a meaningful, authentic topic of interest.

Introduction to Searching at USC Libraries

Learn how to locate a source for your assignment, select the permanent link to a source, and generate a citation using library databases.

Research Notebook

Use this document to organize your research process, from brainstorming a topic and keywords, to documenting the sources you locate.

STEMM Research Workshop Series: Citations & Citation Management

Welcome to Part 4 of the STEMM Research Workshop Series. Citations and Citation Management will provide you with strategies for avoiding plagiarism and introduce you to USC Libraries' citation and citation management resources.

STEMM Research Workshop Series: Planning Your Search

Welcome to Part 2 of the STEMM Research Workshop Series. Planning Your Search will provide an overview of effective strategies to plan your research project, in addition to keyword development and maximizing your keyword search with Boolean operators.

STEMM Research Workshop Series: The Critical Research Process

Welcome to Part 3 of the STEMM Research Workshop Series. The Critical Research Process will introduce strategies for evaluating sources based on specific criteria and teach you how to critically appraising research articles.

STEMM Research Workshop: Getting Started with Library Research

Welcome to Part 1 of the STEMM Research Workshop Series. Getting Started with Library Research will provide an introductory overview of the USC Libraries, in addition to the research process and understanding different types of resources available to you.