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RN - BSN Library Resource Guide

A research guide for BSN students

The Research Process

How to research steps with icons and images of students studying and on computers

Selecting a Topic

Come up with a topic that interests you... and can keep you interested while you research and write. You should want to learn more about this topic. 

BC librarians have created topic guides on various issues to help you find interesting research topics and the resources to get your assignments complete. 

If you cannot think of a topic or cannot decide on just one, there are databases that can help

Select any database to browse by subject or topic or search by keywords


Research Questions

Ask yourself questions about the research topic you've chosen. 
  • WHO is an important person related to this topic? WHO cares about this topic?
  • WHAT makes this topic so interesting to me? WHAT do people need to know before coming to an opinion about this topic? WHAT happens if people don't know about this topic?
  • WHERE does this topic most affect? 
  • WHEN does this topic matter - historically? right now? in the future?
  • WHY does this topic matter? 
  • HOW does this topic impact me? HOW does this affect others? 
This helps to clarify what aspects of the topic you want to pursue in the research and consequent paper. The answers can often provide topic sentences for the paragraphs of the body of the paper.

Search Terms

Cutting out unnecessary words and using simple terms to search for information is called keyword searching. 

Tips for Smart Searching

Come up with synonyms and similar terms to match your topic

‚ÄčDon't get too specific - It is easier to narrow down your results than it is to expand them.

Use * to search for different versions of the same word (truncation)  

  • educat* searches for educate, educates, educator, educators, education, educating... 

Use " " (quotation marks) to search for specific phrases

  • "gun violence" will return results with gun and violence together as a phrase
  • gun violence (without quotation marks) may return results where the words gun and violence don't appear together