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Research Guides

Writing a research paper: Getting Started

This is guide for the final project of Lib2 students. It should also help any student to start a research paper or write a simple essay.

This Guide and the screen

Hello, thank you for your visit. To make this visit fruitful, you need to become familiar with this guide. To start, let us take a good look at this screen. From left to right you may notice that there are 3 frames across, and each frame discusses a different subject. Please do not fail to scroll down as you read each frame.

Now, let us look at the top of the screen. The top portion are parts of your browser like the address bar and the menu bars. As you go down you will find the Internet part, which tells you that you are at Long Beach Library site you can see the name of the college across the screen .  Below this is the web page where this guide is. Notice that the top of this page has tabs. If you click each tab you will learn more about our books, journal and news articles as well as other web resources. Please visit each tab if you wish to get more information about your research.      


Suggested Tools

Please click the button beside the term for more information.


The purpose of this guide is to help you write a class paper. Since most college level papers require some research, this guide will illustrate the step by step process of accessing, gathering and organizing information for a research paper. It also pulls together a variety of resources you may want to use if you are to accomplish our goal. .

Want to know where to start your research?  Click on the above tabs to find lists of books, journal titles, and recommended databases, primary sources and recommended authoritative websites. Or you may want to look at the illustration below to determine how much you know about your research.

Have questions?  Feel free to comment or ask questions about this research guide by clicking above on the PAGE COMMENTS link.  Feel free to contact a librarian any time you need assistance. 

Good luck in your research.


Know yourself

This grid will help you start your research. Find where you belong.


If you are at Zero, it means you barely know anything about your topic. You can start with dictionaries and encyclopedias. These books will give you an overview of your topic.

If you think you know a little, you believe you are at step 5, you only need to add more information with what you already know. YOU need to update and confirm your knowledge of the topic. You need newspapers, magazines, journals and books.

You are at 10 and an expert about your topic and you should write about the topic from your own experiences and knowledge.





Research Tips

These are reminders to save you time and energy with your research.

  • Try the Writing Tips for Research Papers from the the Library Homepage; click here to see.
  • If you are unable to proceed through your research, try the LBCC Library Ask a Librarian Service, or contact a Librarian via email, phone or by visiting the library's Reference Desk.
  • Do not forget to click the OFF-CAMPUS Access when you are working from home.
  • Start with the worksheet. Click the last tab on top.