Answered By: Dean Riley
Last Updated: Jun 15, 2016     Views: 17

That's tough because there are a lot of variables. The PowerPoint slides attached below have notes so this should help explain things in more details. Essentially, library research begins with these steps:

  1. Get a lay of the land (best journals, best authors, best books in the subject discipline of the course or your degree major. Here are some other handy resources to start:

    - HBU OneSearch (on the library home page) - searches most of our databases, catalog, and E-books.
    - Classic Catalog (
    - LibGuides (research guides organized by academic subject discipline)
    - Moody Mobile ( - our mobile page is chocked full of resources designed for smartphones, in particular.
    - WorldCat (for PC or for smartphones) - search for any book and see what libraries in the area have it if we don't. One the result screen, change the zip code to 77074 (HBU) or your home if you are a commuter student.

  2. Search Strategies - the slides will go into more detail about how to create search grids to help you organize your searches (this will work for ANY subject). Some easy things you can do to be more efficient:
    - Maximize your use of language. Use unique terms and synonyms. Why do generic searches with ambiguious terms that yield a lot of useless results to wade through only to discover they are useless?
    - Maximize the database tools. Try using the Advanced Search options. Try searching your terms as SUBJECTS rather than global keywords (anywhere in the record).
    -Be a word detective. As you scan the citations, pay attention to the terms. You might get some new ideas for words you haven't considered yet.

  3. Evaluate the quality of the resources, especially if you are allowed to use the open Internet (Google, etc.).
  4. Corroborate everything! You still can't always trust Wikipedia even though it has improved somewhat.

Be sure to view the attached slides for more details. I hope this will get you jump-started! Please call the reference desk at 281-649-3180 for more assistance!