BCC Library Hours
Monday-Thursday : 8:30am – 8pm
BCC Library Contacts
Circulation Desk: 510-981-2824
Reference Desk: 510-981-2821
Tips for starting your research
Understand the assignment
- What type of assignment is it? Research paper, personal essay, opinion paper, or other?
- How long does the paper need to be?
- Do you need to use specific types of sources such as newspapers, magazines, scholarly journals or websites?
- How many sources do you need?
- Which citation style are you going to use for your bibliogrpahy? MLA, APA, Chicago or other?
Choose a topic
- Think about a topic that might interest you, you know something about, or you feel strongly about.
- Find a topic in your textbook, a class reading or class discussion.
- Still stumped? Look at today's New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Huffington Post, or Google News and find a story that interests you and do more research.
- Keywords are the terms you use to search for information on your topic.
- Two or more words (a phrase) should be searched in "quotes" for better results.
- Try synonyms, related words, and broader terms if your first search doesn't yield the right kind of results.
- Use AND to limit your search and OR to broaden.