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How To Do Research: Determining Information Needs

An introductory guide on the research process for graduate students.

Determining Information Needs

For your research, you need information, but not just any information. You need information that will support your topic and meet your research needs. Information is created with specific audiences in mind. Depending on your project, the information you need to fulfill its requirements may be primary or secondary sources and may come from news, magazines, scholarly journals, or books.

Information is created for different purposes at different times. While initial information may be designed to inform, information created weeks, months, or years later may present an analysis of the event and offer theories on its effects and why it happened. 

See the resources in the subtabs of this page to learn more about the different types of information, their purposes, and tips for finding them in the library and beyond.

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Research Appointments

Click button to schedule a research appointment

The CSU librarians can support you during the research process with personalized reference services. We are happy to help you with the following tasks:

  • Accessing and using the CSU Library databases in order to create a peer-reviewed literature review with library resources
  • Using free personalized database folders within multiple database platforms to organize your research
  • Brainstorming keywords and recommending search limiters to use
  • Locating the dissertations and theses that may support and inform your research process