Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Once you have focused your topic and gathered some background information, you are ready to gather secondary information.
If you're looking for articles, newspaper articles, or subject databases, try our Find Articles page!
If you need help identifying other sources, Ask a Librarian.
Focusing Your Topic
Are you overwhelmed with how much information you are finding? Try the suggestions below:
- Develop a tentative focus
List what you already know and questions you have about the topic and focus on those you find most interesting.
- Find background information on your topic
Check our Online Reference Collection for an article in an online encyclopedia you can trust.
- 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:
- Search CQ Researcher
This is a great source for finding background information and overviews of a wide array of topics.
- 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 like:
- Limit your search to a specific time period
- Look for date limit options when searching a database.