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Physics

This guide will introduce you to resources you can use when researching in physics.

About this Guide

physics calculations and equationsThis guide will introduce you to resources you can use when studying physics!

Use the tabs on the left to find helpful resources, organized by source type (e.g., books or articles).

Not sure what type of source you need? Learn about different types of research sources from Virginia Tech University Libraries. 

 

Choosing Your Topic

As you start your research project, take some time to think about your topic and do some sample searching to get a feel for what is available and what might be more difficult to access. Watch this video for a good example on how searching can help you refine your topic. 

Another good way to start your research is using a concept mapping tool which will help you visualize subtopics and related topics and identify possible search terms. Several of our library databases offer concept mapping tools. Once you've narrowed your topics within each database you should be able to click in to specific articles. 

Discovery

When you search a topic in our Discovery search tool, there is an option to open a Concept Map feature. See the image below for where you can locate the button that will take you to the concept map too.  

A Screenshot of the library discovery search tool with the Concept Map tool button circled in yellow.

Gale

Gale databases have the Topic Finder feature. Here's an example for a Topic Finder search I did for Burma in our reference database, Gale Ebooks. Each tile allows you to click on it and find more subtopics. 

Screenshot of a concept mapping tool representing a search for Burma.

Credo

Credo database has a concept map tool that can be accessed by searching your topic. Here is an example of a search for William Wallace. Clicking on each topic will take you to a list of articles that are relevant.

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Still not sure where to start? Just ask! Librarians can be a great resource for helping you define your topic and come up with keywords to search. Visit the Just Ask section of the library website, use the chat widget, or e-mail asklib@washjeff.edu for more assistance. 

Research Process

Research Process InfographicThis infographic provides basic information about the research process. For more detailed information, check out Georgetown University Library's Research Help Guide. 

The Research Process

1. Define the Problem

2. Review the Literature

3. Develop a Thesis Statement

4. Create an Outline

5. Conduct your Research

6. Interpret your Research

7. Write the First Draft

8. Revise and Edit

9. Submit