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Before you start researching your topic, determine the type of paper you will be writing. See Types of papers for more information.

If you are writing an analytical/compare and contrast paper, or an argumentative persuasive essay, then you will require research evidence to support your argument or comparison.  If you are writing a personal reflective essay, you may have little to no research to do, as this type of essay typically requires you to write from personal experience.

How much research you will need to do will depend on a variety of things:

  1. Your existing knowledge;
  2. Your knowledge gaps; and
  3. Any specific requirements outlined by the assignment (e.g. sometimes instructors will require a minimum number or type of sources to be used.)

If the paper you are preparing to write requires you to gather data by conducting your own research (e.g. surveys or interviews), you will need to take this into consideration as well.  The following research guide will provide further information on research methods resources available in the Library's collection.

There are a variety of resources and search tools available both through the Royal Roads Library and beyond. The next two sections will look at the information landscape and associated search tools. For more general information on research resources, please view the Library's Infoquest tutorial.

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