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How to Research a Topic

Use these steps to research a topic and document your sources.

Library Search Tips

Search for books and videos using the Search the Library box on this page, or use the Advanced Search.


There are two ways to limit your search results by format (Book, Video, Articles, etc.):

1. After running a search, look for the Format limiter on the left side of the screen. Click on the checkbox next to Book (or other desired format).


2. On the Advanced Search page, go to Search Tools and use the Format dropdown to select the format you want.

Search tools box in advanced search

KEYWORD (default)

  • Capitalization and punctuation are not necessary, except hyphens.
  • Exact word order is not required.
  • Include the author's last name, if you have it.


Search command:
The Hitchhiker's Guide to Calculus hitchhikers guide calculus
Censorship in America: a Reference Handbook censorship in america handbook
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (author Rebecca Skloot) immortal life henrietta lacks skloot


  • For better results, used the Advanced Search and select Author instead of Keyword.
  • Capitalization and punctuation don't matter.
  • Use Author search to find authors, editors, artists, illustrators, translators, corporations, and organizations.


Author Search command:
John W. Snapper john w snapper
J. R. R. Tolkien tolkien
The World Chess Federation world chess federation

Locate the Item

Find the item on the shelf (or online) using the information provided:

The Round House WorldCat Discovery record

Status: Tells you if an item is available for use.

  • Available = Item is on the shelf
  • Not Available = Item is checked out or otherwise unavailable
  • Lost = Item is lost

Locations include:

  • Reference
  • Circulating Books
  • Curriculum Library
  • New Books
  • Display
  • Oversize Books
  • Audiovisual
  • Periodicals
  • Lasallian Collection

Call Number: We use the Dewey Decimal classification system. Each call number range represents a particular subject.

Plough Library · Christian Brothers University
Library Hours

650 E Parkway S, Memphis, TN 38117 · (901) 321-3432