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Research Help 101: Finding Materials

Getting started with your research!

So ... now what? have picked your topic and decided on some keywords you might use for your project.  At HPU, we have hundreds of databases and thousands of information sources to choose from.  So ... where do you start?

Different types of information sources will provide you with different types of materials:

  • GENERAL SOURCES (such as encyclopedias) will give you a wide overview of your topic; facts, statistics, background, and so on.
  • IN-DEPTH SOURCES (such as books), will add further detail, examples and variety to your topic.
  • NARROW-FOCUS SOURCES (such as scholarly journals), will add depth and fine detail to your research.

Please ASK a librarian at any stage for further help!

Find GENERAL Sources

Reference sources can be a great place to go for general background information, definitions, and overviews of a particular topic. HPU Libraries provides access to a number of subject encyclopedias. Not finding what you need? Just ask a librarian! 

Find IN-DEPTH Sources

When doing research, you will also need to search the Library Catalog to find books, DVDs, streaming video, and other items for your research. You can use the catalog box below to start a search, and remember to Ask a Librarian for more help!


For your academic research, you will often need to find scholarly, peer-reviewed articles from our library databases.  Here are a few of our most popular databases for general research to get you started.  Remember to Ask a Librarian for more help with keyword searching, finding the full text of an article, using Journal Finder, and getting an article or journal through Interlibrary Loan.

Top Databases for General Research:

ADD ... Newspaper Sources

For your research, you also may need to consult Newspaper Sources. Here are a few of our top newspaper collections. 

ADD ... Statistics & Data

These are just a few of the statistics and data resources that may relate to your research topic. You can find additional resources on our Statistics & Data guide, or ask a librarian for help!

ADD ... Online Visual Resources