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E. H. Butler Library, Buffalo State, The State University of New York

International Students: Research Basics


Beginning Your Research

Beginning Your Research

With so many resources to choose from, where do you start? The library's Summon discovery service is a fast and easy starting point for your research. To begin your search for books or articles, go to the library's homepage, type in your search terms, and hit enter. For more detailed instructions on how to use Summon, click on the Summon tab.


Subject Guides

Be sure to explore our Subject Guides, developed to assist you in identifying subject-related databases, books, and websites. 


Reference Materials

Here you will find links to online encyclopedias, dictionaries, and citation style guides.

Planning Your Search

Planning Your Search Strategy

1.  State your topic idea as a statement or question. Example: How has the Internet influenced the political participation of today's youth?  

2.  Identify your main concepts. These are the key words you will later type in the Summon search box.


CONCEPT 1       Internet

CONCEPT 2       political participation

CONCEPT 3       youth 

3.  It is helpful to make a list of synonyms and related terms for each concept. Think of different ways to describe your topic. Example: synonyms for youth could be "young adults" or "teenagers."

4.  Think about your search limits. Do you want to limit your search to current materials or do you need a historical view? Are you looking for scholarly or popular resources? What are the requirements of the assignment?

5. Select an appropriate resource to begin your research. Summon, the library's discovery service, is a great starting point to identify relevant library materials (including peer reviewed journal articles) for your research.

Need Help? Ask Us.

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