The first step in social research is often that of finding out what is already known. Because of the increase of social research publications, you need to learn how to use most efficient research procedures, several of which are described in many social science research texts. Increasingly, you will rely on computer procedures for locating books and journal articles on particular topics. These electronics techniques provide the speed necessary to search huge databases. Once you have identified a relevant area of study, you need to read it critically and widely. Fortunately, social research journals follow a fairly standard format, which makes it easy for one to find the part one needs within the whole report.