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Step-by-Step Guide & Research Rescue: Geology & Earth Sciences

This guide will help you understand how to efficiently and effectively do basic research.

Step 1. Locate Geology & Earth Sciences Background Information

This guide leads you through the research process for Academic Freedom topics. For general tips on the research process, click on the Basic Research Strategy tab above.

Related Subject Guide - Geology


For Specialized print encyclopedias, use the Science Reference collection, Level 2:

  • Encyclopedia of Earth Science (Sci Ref QE 5 .K85 2005)
  • Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences (Sci Ref QE 5 .E5137 1996)
  • Encyclopedia of Geology (Sci Ref QE 5 .E516x 2005)
  • Magill's Survey of Science. Earth Science Series (Sci Ref QE 28 .E12 2001)

For Specialized online encyclopedias, use the following databases. For subject specific background resources, use the Geology Subject Guide.

Steps 4 & 5: Evaluating Research Materials & Writing Your Paper

For tips on Evaluating Research Materials & Writing Your Paper, click on the Basic Research Strategy tab above.

Step 2. Develop & Narrow Your Topic

After reading Background Resources, you should be able to fill out the following "From Topic to Research Focus" formula.  NOTE: This is NOT the same as your Thesis Statement.  Your Thesis Statement is developed after you read Research Materials about your issue/question, determine your stance, and decide how you will present your attitude/angle/argument. For examples of how to use the "From Topic to Research Focus" rubric, click on the Develop and Narrow Topic tab at the top of this page.

1)  I am researching ______________________________________ (topic)
2)  because I want to find out _______________________________  (issue/question)
3)  in order to ____________________________________________ (application)

Organize your Research Focus into concepts: identify terms, think of synonyms, and organize them using this chart.

(Concept 1) _______________ OR ______________ OR ______________ (Synonyms for Concept 1)

AND (Concept 2) ___________ OR ______________ OR ______________ (Synonyms for Concept 2)

AND (Concept 3) ___________ OR ______________ OR ______________ (Synonyms for Concept 3)

Step 3. Find Research Materials for Geology & Earth Sciences topics

For Books use the Books & More search to find specific titles from the bibliographies you noted above. Use the Books & More - Advanced Search to find additional books on your issue question. Referring back to the concept chart above, enter your keyword search, one concept for each box.

For Articles use the Articles & More - Advanced Search selecting Collection: Life Sceinces. Referring back to the concept chart above, enter your keyword search, one concept for each box. Click Go to begin the search. Click on the title of the article to read the abstract. Click the Full Text Available and Check for Full Text to view the entire article.

To retrieve additional articles, connect to the databases linked below, or select them from Databases A-Z in the Databases & Journals box on the Library Home Page. Depending on how you have narrowed your subject, other databases listed on the Geology Subject Guide may also be appropriate.