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ABCs of Library Research: Home

Not sure how to begin? Start with the ABCs of online research from the Gardner-Harvey Library (Miami Middletown) and the Rentschler Library (Miami Hamilton)!


  • Articles provide current, focused information on your topic.
  • They may come from scholarly (peer-reviewed) journals or popular periodicals: learn how these sources differ.
  • Articles & More is a great starting place to search 80 different databases at once. Use the form below to search:


Develop Your Topic

  • Picking a topic involves doing background research or preliminary searching. Learn more about this process.
  • Learn something about the people, events, facts, and terms connected with the topic using reference sources.
  • Decide which direction you will take in your research and what question(s) you are trying to answer. Learn how.
  • Books

    • Written by those with experience and expertise, books provide breadth and depth on your topic.
    • Read one chapter or the whole thing. You can find information relevant to your topic by using the table of contents or the index.
    • eBooks provide instant access to complete books and can be viewed or downloaded.
    • You can request print books or DVDs to be shipped for free from any Miami University or OhioLINK library to any of Miami's libraries.
    • Books & More is a great starting place to search for books, DVDs, and eBooks. Use the form below to search:

    Evaluate Sources


  • Cite sources to give credit for the ideas and quotations you include and to let your audience know where they can learn more on this topic.
  • Use the American Psychological Association (APA) or Modern Language Association (MLA) citation style guides.
  • For other citation styles or questions on citing, please see Citation Resources and Guidelines.
  • Frustrations?

  • Scholarly research can become complicated and challenging - talk with a librarian who is there to listen and help problem solve.
  • Librarians are experienced in navigating the complex library system and will suggest where to search next, search terms to use, and available sources in the field.
  • Chat, call, email, or schedule a Research Consultation with a librarian at Hamilton or Middletown.
  • Stop by the library for assistance when we are open: Hamilton or Middletown.