Congratulations! You've been hired by a faculty member at the Georgia State University College of Law as a research assistant! This guide is intended to help you navigate the world of resources available to you from both the Law and University Libraries. If at any time you need any assistance or help, please let me know.
Using Google to find something? Try using some of Google's more advanced features to narrow down your search!
The Internet Archive
Need to find something on the web that has been taken down? Need to find out if something was on the web at some point? Try the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine. Using the Wayback Machine you can browse cached versions of webpages from the 1990s to today.
Developing a Research Strategy
Your research will always start with a question or assignment from your faculty member. How specific this request depends on a number of variables, such as personality, mood, weather, etc. It's always a good idea to write down as many specifics about the request as possible, and don't be afraid to ask questions to get the answers that you need. More often than not, your faculty member has a specific goal in mind, and you may need to ask questions to properly understand that goal.
At the Law Library, we've developed a research worksheet that you can use to help organize the information you've been given and develop a plan for your research. Feel free to make copies and use it as you're given research assignments.
Maintaining a Research Log
In addition to developing a research strategy, you should also keep a log of the research that you do. This will allow you to easily tell your faculty member what you have done on a project and allow them to note any areas that you may have missed or that may deserve more exploration. A research log should generally consist of:
- The databases/resources searched
- The search terms used
- An evaluation of how effective that search was