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Syracuse University Libraries

Honors Program Resources: Beginning Your Research

This guide serves as a launching pad to useful research resources for students in the Honors Program.


Search smarter, not harder! Research can be messy, but having a search strategy will save you time and effort later on in the process.

Think about using a research journal to keep track of the keywords that you use while searching, so that you quickly figure out the most effective combination of search terms for your topic.

Video Tutorial: Research Process

Define Your Topic

The first step in defining your research topic is to review your assignment or project requirements. Ask yourself:

  • Are there any guidelines I need to follow?
  • What are some of the current trends or issues in this area?
  • What am I most interested in?

Then, ask yourself some questions about the topic.

Identify Key Concepts

Creating research questions will allow you to identify key phrases which will assist you when you begin searching the Libraries' web site for articles, books and other resources. Based on your research questions, you can brainstorm keywords and phrases for your search.

For example:

Research question:
What is the impact of social media usage on college students' success?

Keywords: college students, undergraduates, social media, impact, student success