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Resources to Support African American Male Scholars

The goal of this guide is to enhance understanding of the assets and challenges that African American male students bring to college with them and to provide resources to enhance success. It is meant to be used by students, faculty and staff.

Research Process

As you become a practiced researcher, you will discover that the research process is never linear. It can be messy. Expect and welcome twists and turns, keep an open mind, and keep asking questions throughout the process. Use many different kinds of search tools and resources, and conduct many different kinds of searches. Research can be fun, and it is a useful and valuable skill to learn. It is helpful to develop the mindset of an explorer.

research shown as a squiggly path, not a straight line


Steps in Research

  1. Identify and define your topic. Put your research topic into a question such as, "What is the debate surrounding vaccination refusal?" Now you can identify the main concepts and keywords, including alternate terms, for your topic.

  2. Background reading will deepen your understanding and vocabulary around the topic, which will help you identify search terms and develop an effective research question. Subject encyclopedias (in print or in Credo Reference) are excellent resources. 

  3. Use Search It! or the library classic catalog to find books. Use your keywords to perform both keyword and subject searches. 

  4. Use Search It! or individual databases to find journal articles. Be sure to choose appropriate databases for your topic.

  5. Search for reliable and authoritative website resources. Try the librarian recommended websites on this guide.

  6. Always evaluate what you find. Consider timeliness, relevance, authority, accuracy, and purpose.

  7. Cite your sources. Citing gives proper credit to the authors of materials you use and allows your professors to verify your conclusions. 

Evaluate Information

Evaluating the information you find, whether in print or digital format, is an essential aspect of doing research.

Learn to think critically about the source of information and the information within each source by using the Evaluate Your Sources guide (linked below). Once acquired, the habit of critical analysis will serve you in everything you read. 

Develop Your Research Skills

Library Instruction - Three Takeaways:
1.Develop an effective research mindset (think like an explorer).
2.Discover useful resources and search tools on the Libraries’ website.
3.Build confidence to begin research for your assignment or project.

Three questions to think about before you begin your research:

1.What question will you be exploring for your current assignment?
2.What kind of information will you search for?
3.Where will you search?

research shown as a squiggly path, not a straight line

Think of research as strategic exploration;driven by questions and a little bit messy. First, focus your topic: What about it? Ask questions: Who, What, Where, When, Why and How? Develop a research question & identify useful search words to start.

Research Strategies:

• Determine the scope of your research (read assignment).
• Begin looking where you’re likely to find the best information.
• Do some background reading to understand topic and to be able to develop an effective research question.
• Discover vocabulary used to discuss your topic.
• Choose useful search words. Try keyword and subject. searches.
• Evaluate your results.
• Repeat; research is repetitive; keep asking questions; change search terms, and do more searching.

STLCC Links from Blackboard

We recommend accessing the Libraries' website via Blackboard. STLCC Links appear at the top of every Blackboard page. For the best experience from off-campus, log in to Blackboard first, and then use STLCC Links to get to the Libraries’ website.

Libraries' website

Use the Libraries' website to start your research.

St. Louis Community College Libraries

Florissant Valley Campus Library
3400 Pershall Rd.
Ferguson, MO 63135-1408
Phone: 314-513-4514

Forest Park Campus Library
5600 Oakland
St. Louis, MO 63110-1316
Phone: 314-644-9210

Meramec Campus Library
11333 Big Bend Road
St. Louis, MO 63122-5720
Phone: 314-984-7797

Wildwood Campus Library
2645 Generations Drive
Wildwood, MO 63040-1168
Phone: 636-422-2000