Key Points: 
Getting Started       

1. Get background information on your topic.

What do you know about your topic?
Although you may use Wikipedia and other web sites, ORU reference databases provide credible and authoritative information that is helpful and useful when you begin your research as it may:

  • Help you to narrow a topic or focus your thesis statement
  • Offer alternative or additional keywords
  • Provide alternative points of view
  • Identify pros and cons on an issue
  • Give you statistics to support an argument

Reference databases include academic essays, biographies, primary sources documents, news transcripts, scholarly research, handbooks, subject encyclopedias, images, and more. They provide background information, overviews, controversies, chronologies, statistics and more. You may even choose to use reference databases to find "hot topics" for your research.

CQ Researcher

Credo Reference Center

Points of View Reference

CQ Researcher

Credo Reference Center Points of View Reference Center
Hot topics published weekly with the issue, background, chronology, maps, charts, pros/cons, and more.
601+ full testreference books. Includes concept map. Search, then check out the "related resources" link (left sidebar). Current, controversial topics with multiple sides supported by journal articles, primary sources, and more.
EBSCO Tutorial (6 min)

2. Gather supporting information.

Once you have background information determine the assignment requirements and begin to gather more detailed, specific information. The required number of resources, paper length, and your topic will determine the depth of necessary research.

Do you need BOOKS?
Try subject and keyword searching for your topic(s) in the the following:

If so, how many? Try a multidisciplinary database and a subject database.

  • Academic Search Complete -- A good place to start looking for articles on your topic. ASC is ORU's largest, full-text, multidisciplinary database and includes mostly scholarly articles.
  • Library subject research guides list discipline-related article databases, ebooks, ereference, ejournals and more.
  • The database list provides an alphabetical or category list of databases.

See the library research guides: How to Find Books & eBooks and How to Find Articles.

3. Manage your information.

As available, save, manage and annotate your information in the database. For example, create and use the "folder" in EBSCO databases and/or the "bookshelf" in ebrary.

Record, save or print necessary citation information.
You will need to create a citation list of all your resources. Documentation is necessary to a avoid plagiarism. Many databases have citations tools that create citations in several styles, such as APA and MLA, then allow you to copy and paste the citation. Always check citations for proper formatting and accuracy.

Need Help?

• To access this guide go to the Library page > Library Guides >"Key Points: Getting Started."
• For research assistance, contact Ask-a-librarian, call 918-495-6887, or go to the Reference Desk.
• For assistance with writing research papers visit the Tutoring Center, LRC, 5th floor.
• For problems with your NOVELL login contact the Student IT Help Desk at or 918.495.6321, or visit the Computer Lab, GC-2A01.