Wake Tech Community College


Blackboard Calendar Locations Student Email Moodle my.WakeTech WebAdvisor

Research Help Tutorials

Tutorials for doing research
Chat loading...

There are five steps in the research process.

The Research Process

1. Identify your topic
2. Develop search terms
3. Conduct a search
4. Evaluate information
‚Äč5. Cite your sources

Types of Resources in Research Databases

As you search the databases, you'll come across a wide variety of information resources. You're probably familiar with some of these, such as magazines and newspapers. But others--like scholarly journals--might be new to you. Let's take a look at some of these resources.

Scholarly Journals. Scholarly journals are also called academic journals. If your instructor tells you to find scholarly articles, this is where they want you to look. Scholarly journals are published regularly and contain articles that report on original research conducted by experts. For example, if someone in the medical field does a study on cancer, they would write an article about their study and publish it in a scholarly journal. 

Trade Journals or  Trade Magazines. Trade journals or trade magazines are periodicals that publish articles relevant to a particular field or industry. They are usually written by professionals in the field or by journalists who have knowledge of the field. 

Reference. Reference materials include dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks, and almanacs. These sources are great for providing general background information on a topic (such as facts, definitions, and dates). They're a great place to start when you're first learning about a topic.

Peer-Reviewed Articles

When assigning a research paper, your instructor may specify that you need to use peer-reviewed articles. Peer-reviewed articles are scholarly journal articles that have been reviewed by experts in the same field as the person who wrote the article. This is done to ensure the quality of the research before it's published. When searching the library's research databases, you can specify that you only want peer-reviewed articles.