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Library Guide for International Students

Where To Start?

Beginning Your Research

To begin your search for books or articles, go to the library's homepage, type in your search terms in the DISCOVERY search box, and click Search.

​Subject Guides

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


Start Your research process

What is Research Process?

Research process is a step-by-step approach for developing a research paper. It generally involves several activities

  • developing a research question
  • doing background research by identifying, locating, evaluating, and analyzing relevant information
  • synthesizing the information to support your point of view
  • presenting the information ethically by giving appropriate credit

Some activities might be simultaneous. You might develop and refine your question after locating and evaluating your sources. Your search for relevant sources may continue after you read and analyze some sources and refer to their references/bibliographies.


Developing your Research Focus

  • Make sure you understand the assignment and its requirements 

  • If the topic is not assigned by your professor, start by selecting a general topic of your interest

  • Do preliminary research to learn more about the general topic

  • Start asking focused, open ended questions (what, where, when, where, why, or how)

  • Develop your research question that will define your investigation, set boundaries, and provide direction


Planning Your Search Strategy

State your topic idea as a statement or question. Example: How does globalization impact local economies of developing countries?

Identify your main concepts. Make a list of synonyms and related terms for each concept. These are the key words you will later type in the Search@NDNU search box. 


Concept 1 Concept 2 Concept 3


developing countries


global trade

developing economies


international trade

local economies


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?

Select an appropriate resource to begin your research. Search@NDNU, the library's discovery service, is a great starting point to identify relevant library materials (including peer reviewed journal articles) for your research. Use the search tips below to find resources relevant to your research topic.

Search Tips

Always try more than one search!

Use AND, OR, and NOT with your search terms to expand and limit your search query

AND retrieves records that contain all of the search terms. For example, globalization OR "global trade" AND "international trade"

OR retrieves records that contain ANY of the search terms, but does not necessarily include all of them. For example, "globalization" OR "global trade" AND "international trade"

NOT Excludes records containing the second search term.  For example, global NOT warming

Use “quotation marks” to search for a complete phrase: “developing countries”

Use an asterisk* for alternate word endings: econom* will pull results containing economics, economy, economies, etc.