Getting Research Help at the Library Guide

Explore the Getting Research Help at the Library Guide to learn all the ways that students can get research help.  

What kinds of questions can you ask a librarian? Here are some examples. 

  • Vocabulary, definitions, and explanation
    • I need to find peer-reviewed articles. How can I tell if something is peer-reviewed?
    • Can I get articles/access from home?
  • When and how can I use resources I find on the internet? 
    • Can I use Google Scholar?
    • What's the deal with Wikipedia?
  • Research on a topic
    • My research topic is too big/vague/general. How do I narrow it down?
    • Where can I find background information?
    • I tried searching for my topic but I couldn't find anything. What other search words should I try?
    • I'm researching Topic A. What kinds of sources should I use and how do I find them?
    • Are there recommended databases for GEO/GEW/GEL classes?
    • Citations (like APA, MLA, CSE, etc.) - We have a guide for that!
  • Library Catalog/Databases
    • The library doesn’t have the book/article that I need - how can I get it?
    • Which database should I use for X topic?a
    • I'm off-campus and having trouble accessing Resource Z. What do I need to do?
    • How do I find primary sources (or news, peer reviewed articles, statistics, videos, images, whatever you need)?
  • Finding other resources at CSUSM
    • Where is the Writing Center/Career Center/IT Help Desk? What can they help me with?
    • How can I meet with an academic advisor?

These are just ideas to get you started, but we welcome all your questions! Email, chat, stop by the library, or make an appointment with your librarian. There is no question too small or too big, and we will work to help you find the information you need. 

*Handout adapted from University of Tennessee Library