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Mentone Girls' Grammar School | Kerferd Library

How to Research

A guide that explains the basic tenets of research and how to do it using various resources.

Using Books for Research

Nonfiction books are a good place to go for information.

Researching in a book

If I look in a dictionary I find that a book is:

''A set of written, printed, or blank sheets bound together between a front and a back cover''  (Merriman-Webster. (n.d.). Book. Merriman-Webster Online Dictionary.

That makes sense.

We know that books can be divided into two groups.

A book can be a fiction book which is a story that comes from someone's imagination

A book can be a nonfiction book which is also called a fact book!

We can use a nonfiction book for our research.


When we use a book for our research we usually use a nonfiction book.

A nonfiction book is a fact book.

There are all sorts of nonfiction books in your library!

Science Books

History Books

Culture Books

Animal Books

Plant Books

Biographies (these are books written about the lives of famous people)

And lots more!

We can get a lot of information from nonfiction books.

When we use a nonfiction book for research we need to find the answers to our questions.

Sometimes there is a lot of information to go through to get our answers!

How can we find information in a book without reading all of it?

There are two parts in a book that will help us locate our information quickly:

  1. The Contents Page.
  2. The Index Page.

In a nonfiction book there is usually a contents page.

The contents page is at the front of the book, after the title page.

The contents page will tell us what each chapter is going to be about.

The contents page is a good way to help us focus on our research and not get distracted.

Most nonfiction books have an index page.

The index page is usually at the back of the book.

The index page is a good friend to us when we are researching information.

The index page will show us all of the pages where certain words are to be found.

Sometimes we look at a book.

It is a good book that will provide us with a lot of information.

But there is no contents page.

There is no index page either!

What can we do?

I think you know the answer.

Books without an index page do not usually have many pages in them.

It will not be difficult to look at each page to see if there is information for you to use.

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