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Getting Started @ The Libraries: Home

Welcome to URI! This is a guide to help you find your way around the URI University Libraries - including the Robert L. Carothers Library and Learning Commons in Kingston, the Providence Campus Library in Providence, and the Pell Marine Science Library in

Reference & Research Help

Five Ways to Get Research Help

Visit us at the
Info & Research Help Desk

Call Us
(During Info & Research Help Desk Hours)

(401) 874-2653

Chat With Us
(During Info & Research Help Desk Hours)

Click Here to Start

Text Us
(During Info & Research Help Desk Hours)

Start your message with URILibrarian:
For example, URILibrarian:Your message here.

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(After Regular Hours)

(Please allow 1-2 business days for a response)


Welcome to the Libraries!

Welcome to the University of Rhode Island! We hope the University Libraries - the Robert L. Carothers Library and Learning Commons, the Providence Campus Library, and the Pell Library - will become a home away from home for you.

You will find the friendly librarians at URI to be a indispensible resource for your academic success. These pages will help you find your way around the Libraries and do the work your instructors ask of you.


How to Begin Your Research

How to Tackle a Research Assignment

So, you just got your assignment from your instructor and you don't know where to begin? Let's break it down:

  • Set a timeline for yourself and stick to it. Give yourself time to review the research question, refine your topic, do your research, and write your paper.
  • Read the instructor’s assignment description carefully. Be sure to answer every question s/he raises.
  • Pick out keywords from the assignment description.
  • Do a preliminary search for articles and books at the library using your keywords. Try the searching strategies we learned in our library session.
  • Leave yourself plenty of time in case you need to order books from other schools.
  • Refine your topic based what you learn by reading the sources you find.
  • Search for more sources if necessary.
  • Leave time to ask a librarian if you get stuck!

When you come to the library don't forget to bring:

  • Your ID to the library—you’ll need it to make copies and to check out books, DVDs, and reserves.
  • Paper and pen or pencil for jotting down notes, keywords, or call numbers.
  • A USB/flash/jump/thumb drive to save your work off of the library computers.

Check out the library's research checklist for more tips!

Created by...

D. Emsellem, 2009.

Revised and updated by A. Izenstark, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015.

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