Brainstorm for topic ideas, tips
Encyclopedias, general news articles, bibliographies
Identify important concepts, choose subject area, recent or historical, choose database or index, search, evaluate search results
Necessary citation information, finding and requesting journals, tutorial
Evaluating web-based resources
Documenting resources used in your research.
Communicating your research with the larger community
Are you overwhelmed with how much information you are finding? Try the suggestions below:
1. Develop a tentative focus
List what you already know and questions you have about the topic and focus on those you find most interesting.
2. Find background information on your topic
Check our Electronic Reference Collection for an article in an online encyclopedia you can trust.
3. Look for magazine articles
Magazine articles tend to be shorter and can provide a general idea of key issues or controversies related to your topic. Try:
4. Search CQ Researcher
This is a great source for finding background information and overviews of a wide array of topics.
5. Choose a particular perspective on the issue
How do scholars from different subject fields approach your topic? Finding different points of view can provide you with a better sense of direction. Look through our subject-specific databases listed on the Find Articles page:
6. Limit your search to a specific time period
Look for date limit options when searching a database.
Need more help? Ask a Librarian for assistance.