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Library Research: Home

Welcome to Library Research

Hello and welcome to library research. This libguide is designed to help you understand why, how and where to do research  throughout your time at Prep. 

Click on the tabs above to access library databases and primary source materials, learn how to evaluate sources and create citations.

Make a 1-1 Research Appointment with your Librarian

Basic Research Tutorial

Types of Sources

Types of Research Resources and Their Definitions

Primary Sources


Maps, Photographs, Diaries, Logs, Letters, Autobiographies/Memoirs, News Reports, Government Documents, Statistical Data, Speeches, Creative Works.

Secondary Sources


Textbooks, Academic Journal Articles, Dissertations, Biographies, Reviews, Literary/Art Criticism.

Tertiary Sources 


Dictionaries, Encyclopedias


Important Research Terms

Here are some terms you might come across when doing research and what they mean.

1. Advanced Search: A database or search engine's ability to allow you to input multiple filters at the same time for one search. 

2. Keyword: a main word pulled from your research question or thesis used to retrieve sources from a library database

3. Phrase Searching: The act of putting quotation marks around a series of words in your search bar to tell the database or search engine to retrieve sources with the exact same collection of words.  Example: "2024 presidential election"

4. Boolean Operators:  These are the words AND, OR, NOT and can be used in between individual keywords and phrases to tell a database or search engine what type of information you want to retrieve.  

5. Abstract: A short statement found at the beginning of some academic papers that gives a concise summary of the paper's research and findings. I recommend reading abstracts (when available) to see whether or not reading the entire article is worth your time.  HOWEVER, please note that you can NEVER cite from the abstract of an article. 

6. Peer Reviewed: This is an academic term that is used to label scholarly articles that have gone through a rigorous process of being read, reviewed, edited, and accepted by a group of scholars who are experts in the subject of the article in question. When you see that an article is peer reviewed you can trust that the information is reliable.