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Basic Research Strategies: Background Info/Articles

Key Steps

First, look for background information on your topic.

Next, locate some books or ebooks.

Then, use the databases to find some current, relevant articles.

See if the Library has a LibGuide on your topic or area.

Still confused?  Get some help from a librarian!

Gale Virtual Reference Library

A great way to start your research is to find background information from a reference book.

The  Gale EBOOKS, a database with hundreds of digitized reference books. 


A search for Global Warming would bring up these essays. You may view, print and save the articles.



Finding Books

Use Find Books, Articles and other Sources, to locate books for your project.

  The results list will display the books we own on the subject. The Call Number tells you where the book may be found on the shelves. In our Library, Call Numbers that start A-N are on the Second Floor while those starting P-Z are on the Third Floor.

    First locate the range of books with the first two letters of the Call Number then the whole number that follows.

   For instance, to locate the first book on this results list below, find the range of books that start with the letters PS.

   Next, look for the books with the whole number 3511 after the PS.

   After that, look for the books with .I9 after PS 3511.

   Finally, follow the remaining letters and numbers in the Call Number until you have the exact book you want.


Always check availability to make sure the book is on the shelf and not checked out to another user.

Once you have found the books you need, take them downstairs to the Access Services Desk. With your NCC ID you may borrow the books.

Articles from Databases

Just want an article for your topic?

Use one of our Databases.

Pick from the A-Z list or Select by Subject.

From home, enter your N# and PIN at the prompt. 


Need information on a controversial topic?

Look for a LibGuide

Many courses and subject areas have specific LibGuides. To see if your course or subject has a LibGuide, go to the LibGuides homepage.

More Help

Not sure where to start?


 Our Search All box might be the answer!

With Search All, you get books, eBooks, magazine, newspaper and scholarly journal articles.

You can limit your search or your results to narrow the outcome. 

 Check out the Use Search All tab!