1. Define your topic
2. Gather background information
3. Find books and journal articles
4. Find information on the Internet
5. Evaluate your sources
6. Cite your sources
Use dictionaries and encyclopedias to find definitions and background information. Articles from specialized subject encyclopedias are authoritative and often substantial.
Search the Library catalogue:
More on catalogue searching
To find articles on your specific topic, search the recommended databases for Pacific Studies The catalogue lists the print and electronic titles of journals held by the Library.
More about using databases to find an article.
The Internet can be a rich source of information but not everything will be useful or appropriate for research use. Web resources should be carefully evaluated and used in conjunction with the scholarly resources provided by the Library. Use the Advanced search features of Google or Google Scholar to restrict your search to search results from reputable sources.
More on web searching
References recommended on reading lists will already have been evaluated for quality. You will need to evaluate sources that you find yourself. Think critically about the information you find. The quality of your information will help to determine the quality of your assignment.
More on evaluating your sources
Avoid plagiarism by citing all the sources of information you use in your essay. See our page on citation styles.
See our writing guides page for books which have useful hints for essay writing.