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The Research Process: Step-by-Step

This guide walks you through the steps of the research process

Steps to Locating Information

Research typically involves using a variety of sources including:

  • encyclopedias and dictionaries,
  • books
  • articles from newspapers, magazines and journals,
  • statistical sources,
  • websites, and
  • videos.

To create the most effective and efficient searches, utilize the search strategies listed under Step 2: Locate Information.

What all libraries have

The following tutorial will provide you an overview of the library and the types of sources you can find in both the physical and digital library. Each library is different, of course. But libraries do offer similar services and organize materials in similar ways.

Research and Citation Managers- Zotero & Mendeley

What are Primary Sources?

Primary sources (or primary documents or resources) “provide first-hand testimony or direct evidence concerning a topic under investigation They are usually created by witnesses or recorders who experienced the events or conditions being documented. Often these sources are created at the time when the events or conditions are occurring, but primary sources can also include autobiographies, memoirs, and oral histories recorded later. (Primary Sources at Yale,

 When scholars or researchers make a careful examination of primary documents, draw conclusions, and write up those conclusions in a paper, article, or book, those interpretations are called secondary sources.

Common examples of primary sources:

Copies of speeches, addresses, treaties, laws, or declarations.
Diaries, letters, papers, or autobiographies.

First person reports in newspapers or magazines.

Interviews or oral histories.

Objects, photographs, or maps.

Video recordings, streaming video or tapes of events or speeches.

Find Primary Sources

Click here for Middle Georgia State's Research Guides for finding primary resources in a variety of topics.

ArchiveGrid -  a collection of nearly two million archival material descriptions. Archival collections held by thousands of libraries, museums, historical societies, and archives are represented in ArchiveGrid.

 When digital options or full text is not available, try the InterLibrary Loan form.

Contact a Campus:

478-471-2709 for the Macon campus library | 478-934-3179 for the Roberts Memorial Library at the Cochran campus | 478-275-6772 for the Dublin campus library

478-374-6833 for the Eastman campus library | 478-929-6804 for the Warner Robins campus library | On the Go? Text-A-Librarian: 478-285-4898

Middle Georgia State University Library

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