Research is frequently required in academic writing. If you're assigned a research paper, do the research FIRST. Nothing makes steam come out of reference librarians' ears faster than students stating that they've already written the paper and they "just need some sources to back it up."
Links for help with:
In-the-Field Research Procedures (such as interviews, surveys, and observations)
Butler provides wonderful resources through the library. Click Butler Library Resources. You will need to authenticate with your Pipeline username and password to use these resources.
The CRAAP Test is a list of guidelines that you can think about in order to decide if the information in a resource is reliable. This is especially helpful when looking at web sites
Currency: The timeliness of the information.
Relevance: The suitability of the information for you and your topic.
Authority: The credibility of the author.
Accuracy: The reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the information.
Purpose: The reason the information has been published.
For college level research you need to be choosy. Following are a few links giving guidance on how to critically look at resources and choose the best.