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Personal Librarian Guide: Research Tips

Learn about the Personal Librarian Program at Denison Libraries

A Tip from Lisa

If you need information and aren't sure where to find it or how to decide what's the best source to use, that's a great time to talk with a librarian!

You can either write back to your Personal Librarian or email a librarian subject specialist. Collaborating with librarians on your research and learning new methods to find and evaluate information is an incredibly valuable part of your Denison education.

A Tip from BethAnn

Get the book your Writing 101 prof recommends, such as They Say/I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing, or The Rowman and Littlefield Guide to Writing with Sources by James P. Davis. Read it or at least become familiar with it. It will help you research and write your papers.

A Tip from Debby

Have a quick question? Stop by the desk in the Library Commons (on the 1st floor where the computers are). There are Student Reference Assistants there who can help! You can also contact them or a librarian using our Chat or text services (740-218-4798). Another option is to make an appointment through our Calendar. We love answering questions.

A Tip from Stephanie

Make sure you understand the assignment and what types of resources are required. Do you need primary and secondary sources? How is a primary source different from a secondary source? (Contact a librarian, we can help!) 

For other research tips, check out the Writing 101 Guide.

A Tip from Yuimi

Need to learn more about Excel, Photoshop, Tableau, or programming languages? Try O'Reilly Online Learning! It offers many interactive tutorials, books, and videos in programming and desktop applications. Don't forget to download their app on your phone for research on the go!

Want to save time in creating citations? Try RefWorks, a citation management software! Don't forget to check out the 20 minute online RefWorks course here!

A Tip from Lisa

Sometimes it's difficult to know where to start looking for information on your topic. Our librarians have compiled resources that will help you find information on your topic. Check out our Subject and Class Guides or our FAQ page for help finding information! 

A Tip from Yiming

No matter how many languages you speak, library jargon can be confusing. For example, what do we mean by a "call number?" A call number is a group of letters and/or numbers that uniquely identifies and indicates the location (address) of an item--a book, DVD, etc.--on the shelf. Call numbers are usually marked on the edge of the item and correspond with the numbers in our library's online catalog--CONSORT.

Want to know more? The Library of the University of Southern California hosts a list of common library terms.

A Tip from Stephanie

Start your research early! Starting early will give you ample time to investigate your topic and reach out to your professor, librarians, and writing center mentors as needed. Protip: when requesting print sources from other libraries via CONSORT or OhioLink, items may take 7-10 business days to arrive. Another reason to start early!

A Tip from Sarah

It's normal to feel overwhelmed when you first start researching a topic. Here's an easy way to conceptualize this process:

  • Reference: what is the general background on my topic?
  • Readings: where will I go to find out more?
  • Research: how will I put this all together?

Know that librarians are always happy to help and guide you!

Denison Libraries, 100 W College, Granville, Ohio 43023
Phone: 740-587-6235, email:
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