Tips for getting started:
- Make a list of keywords and phrases.
- Review this guide to find essential fact finding resources and recommendations for article indexes.
- Set up a proxy connection to search article indexes from home.
- View tutorials on searching catalogs and indexes.
- Set up a Refworks or Zotero account (do this before searching), watch tutorials for getting started (see the citations tab).
Follow these steps to organize your research:
- Define and Deconstruct Your Topic (see below).
- See the Basic Resources tab to find initial information about your paper topic.
- Refine Your Topic: Using the information you have gathered, determine if your research topic should be narrower or broader. You may need to search Basic Resources again using your new, focused topics and keywords.
- See the Searching Tips tab to find books for an in-depth discussion of your topic.
- Go to the Articles tab for resources containing current and retrospective information. Use Periodical Indexes to identify articles within periodical and newspaper titles.
- Go to the Citations tab to choose a style manual for your footnotes and bibliography.
Your Paper Topic
Deconstruct your topic to uncover its complexities, to focus your research and to increase your search vocabulary. The more ways you have of describing and thinking about your topic, the more information you're likely to find. One method of deconstructing your topic is to is to fill out the Brain Dump Worksheet created for LD ARCH 170. Another term for deconstructing a research question is 'concept mapping'; see the Rhode Island School of Design Library's excellent slide show, Concept Mapping, for a visual tutorial.
- Write down your topic. Be brief!
- Example: impact of Golden Gate Park on development of surrounding neighborhoods
- Ask the journalists' 6 questions about your chosen topic: Who?, What?, Where?, When?, Why?, How? Do your best to answer these questions. Remember to include alternative spellings. For example: Olmsted or Olmstead; parc or park or parque; Nationsbank or Nations Bank or National Bank.
- Sample questions:
Who designed it? / Who built it? / Who paid for it? / Who were the intended users?
What kind of park is it? / What were the design constraints?
Where is it located? (city, state, neighborhood, country)
When was it built? (date completed, century)
Why was it designed?
How did the city approve the project?
- Pay attention to the questions you can't answer about your topic. Look for for the answers in the specialized reference sources in the following section. Add to your 'deconstruction notes' as you learn more about your topic.
- For additional ways to explore the concepts and social factors influencing your topic, see Finding Information on Buildings and Places.
Manuals on Writing a Research Paper
There are numerous manuals and grammar books available to guide you through the process of writing an excellent research paper. The following resources are highly recommended.
A writer's reference Environmental Design Reference PE1408 .H2778 2010
The elements of style Moffitt Reserves PE1408 .S772 2007; Environmental Design Reference PE1408 .S772 2000
A manual for writers of research papers, theses, and dissertations : Chicago style for students and researchers Environmental Design Reference LB2369 .T8 2007
Student's guide to writing college papers Bioscience & Natural Resources Ref Shelves LB2369 .T8 2010
Connecting from Off Campus?
To remotely access resources that are UCB Only or UC Only, set up the proxy server on your mobile device.
Proxy Server Setup
After you make a one-time change in your web browser settings, the proxy server will ask you to log in with a CalNet ID or Library PIN when you click on the link to a licensed resource. See the setup instructions, FAQ, and Troubleshooting pages to configure your browser.