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Resources for Success Mentors: Additional Tips

Top 10 tips every incoming student needs to know about the UC Merced Library

Research Questions

Ask a question of interest.

By asking a research question, you are keeping an open mind about what the research may reveal.  See if your question is TRUE for these five criteria.  If so, then your research question is probably workable. 

  1. It cannot simply be answered with a yes/no. 
  2. It has a problem associated with it.
  3. It has social significance.
  4. There is reliable evidence available to address it.
  5. It has appropriate scope.

Together: You will have to do some preliminary research to really discover if all of these statements are TRUE for your proposed research question.

thought bubble question

Citing With Google Scholar

  • To get citation information in Google Scholar, click on the quotation mark icon link under the information about the item that interests you.

  • From there, copy and paste the citation information you need, or click the links at the bottom to send citation information to a citation management tool such as RefWorks. RefWorks is a tool that the UC Merced Library pays for the University's faculty, students, and staff to use for their research.
  • Make sure to double-check the citation Google Scholar generates; while using this tool can save you time, it is not perfect.

The Information Cycle

                                       Image Created by University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Google Tips

  • Limit to a specific site in the basic Google search bar: 
    • "black holes" site:.http://www.physicstoday.org
    • cancer statistics site:.gov
    • H.R. 4221 site:.gov
  • Use quotes to search for a phrase: 
    • "dog sweaters"
  • Use a hyphen to exclude words:
    • jaguar speed -car
  • Find a page that links to another:
    • link:library.ucmerced.edu
  • Find sites similar to other sites:
    • related:npr.com
  • Find results limited to a specific file type:
    • 2017 1040 EZ filetype:pdf