May 2015

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Home - Library - Library Classroom - Resources: Getting Started


After creating a list of keywords and search statements, you should start thinking about the kinds of resources that will work best for your topic.  The types of resources used for a paper on a current issue could be very different from the resources used for a research paper covering a historical event.  Identifying the appropriate resources for your topic, in advance, will help you spend less time searching and more time reading and evaluating the information you find. 
Ask your instructor and librarian for suggestions. 

Choose resources from the Lurleen B. Wallace Community College (LBWCC) libraries web pages:

Background Information

Finding short articles and overviews of a subject is a good way to kick off the research process, especially if you do not know a lot about the topic you are researching. Background information can define terms that you are not familiar with and could introduce you to issues associated with a topic that you might not be aware of.
Google and other search engines will provide background information.  
The Alabama Virtual Library (AVL) provides an online encyclopedia Britannica Online and the Oxford Reference Online Premium which is a collection of Reference books.

 Current Research Studies

Scholars and researchers usually publish the results of their research studies in scholarly journals. Generally, the most up-to-date sources of scholarly journal articles are in databases.
The Alabama Virtual Library (AVL) and the LBWCC online databases contain professional journal (scholarly, peer-reviewed) articles.



If you are researching a current issue or event, you may want to start online.
Use Google or Yahoo to read about current happenings.
The Alabama Virtual Librarys Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center is a great source of information on hot topics. 
You may also want to search netLibrary for e-books that contain information on hot issues and controversial topics.  

Historical Information 

Historical information can be found in both print and online sources.
You may want to search for books on your topic by using the LBWCC online catalog.
The Alabama Virtual Library offers Oxford Reference Online Premium and  the History Reference Center.
Use a search engine or subject directory to find Web sites on your topic.


There are many up-to-date statistics sources online that are published by organizations such as the U.S. Government.  
An example of a government document  is Facts for You found at
Reference books such as the World Almanac and Statistical Abstracts of   the United States
(http:// are excellent  sources of very general statistics. 

Adapted from Arnulfo L. Oliveira Memorial Library
University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College
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Lurleen B. Wallace Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges or SACSCOC to award the Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, Associate in Applied Science degrees and certificates. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Lurleen B. Wallace Community College.