Not sure where to start your search? Ask yourself these questions:

Are certain sources required?
Look at whether the assignment specifies using peer reviewed articles, newspaper articles, primary sources, data, books, and/or videos. You will look for these different sources in different places.

Does your topic lend itself to a particular type of source?
The kinds of resources you need often depends on your research topic. Some topics are more likely to be covered in books and others are more likely to be covered in the news. You may not be able to find books or peer reviewed articles on current topics because they take a long time to publish.  

Who writes about your topic?
A topic like "race relations" and prisons might be explored by scholars in sociology, law, criminal justice, public policy, psychology, or ethnic studies. See recommended sources from the subject librarians for each discipline in the Research Guides or look at the library's list of databases organized by subject.

How to Search for Different Types of Resources:

Searching for books? Use the Books and Media search box within OneSearch on the library's home page. Also look at the DIY guide for finding books on your topic

Searching for articles? The Articles search box within OneSearch on the library's home page is a good starting point because it searches many of the library's databases at once. Sometimes the number of results you get can be overwhelming, though, so for more precise searching use the library's databases. See the Databases by Subject page to find databases to search individually. You can also use the Research Guides to find subject-specific article databases recommended by librarians. 

Looking for primary sources? Primary sources can be found in books (when photos or speeches are included, for example), organization websites (like libraries or museums) that have digitized their collections, and in some of our library databases. For more information, check out the DIY guide for finding primary sources

Searching for newspaper sources? Here's a list of all the databases the library subscribes to that have newspaper articles. 

Looking for data? There are Research Guides for finding census dataCalifornia statisticsFresno County statistics, and demographic data.  Data and statistics can be tough to find, so be sure to contact the librarian for your subject area to learn more. 

Searching for U.S. government information? There are subject guides for finding government publications in the librarygovernment information collectionsgovernment websites, and citing government information