Help & Guides

Starting Your Research

Facing your first assignment can be a daunting prospect particularly if you haven't been in an academic setting for a while. Relax - the library is here to help. Below are some points to consider and some links to help you get started. If you have any questions or would like further instruction - please contact us here.

Contextualise your research

Academic research is all about critical thinking. Two skills you need when researching: 

  • Capacity to evaluate what you read
  • Capacity to relate what you have read to other information

Do not read academic works as you would fiction. Start by reading the conclusion. Typically the author presents a finding and supports it with evidence. As such make sure you clearly understand what the author claims to have discovered. When you read the rest of the article think critically about whether their points are valid and if the evidence supports the findings. Also consider how the research fit in with other relevant articles.

Criteria to consider when reviewing sources
You are expected to consult multiple sources of information and to show evidence of wide critical reading. In doing so, you need to exercise critical judgement. This means identifying relevant experts and theories and judging the value of their research in relation to your own. Some questions to consider when reading sources of information:

  • Why am I reading this?
  • What is the author trying to argue by writing this?
  • What is the author saying that is relevant to my needs?
  • How convincing is the author's argument?
  • What use can I make of the reading?
  • Does this reading support or contradict my argument?

Finding books

Finding journal articles

You'll need your login details to access the journal databases. You can search for scholarly articles on a range of subjects within our two main databases. You can also search by journal title if you know the title of a journal and want to check if access is covered by our subscriptions. This is a searchable list of all the IMI Library’s journals both electronic and hard copy.

Citing sources

While you are expected to consult multiple sources in your research, it is very important that you acknowledge any instance in which you have used these sources in your own work. The following are some useful guides to help make this process easier:

Ask for help

The library staff are available to help. To contact us or schedule a session with a member of staff click here.