WEB SITE - MARCH 2014
Define Your Topic
Getting started can sometimes feel like the most difficult part of the research process. Help define your topic by asking questions:
- What is my assignment?
- Is it an opinion paper?
- Is it an overview of a topic?
- Is it a report or analysis?
- Is my topic limited in any way by:
- A specific time period?
- Geographic location?
- A segment of the population?
- Would background information be helpful?
- Encyclopedias help provide perspective on a topic or concept. Subject encyclopedias help define a topic,provide a timeline of events, identify people associated with the topic, and supply good keywords to use later when searching for books or articles.
- What words or terms best describe my topic? Are there synonyms for these words?
Determine the Type of Information Needed
1. What types of resources are required?
Articles on a topic
Articles from a specific journal
2. If articles are needed, how do I know if a publication is a scholarly journal or a popular magazine?
Are written by experts in the field
Include reports of original research, or in-depth analysis of
issues related to the field
Use terminology and language specific to that field of study
Are written for other researchers in the field
Include bibliographies and extensive documentation
Are written by journalists and free-lance writers
Are not peer-reviewed
Cover current events, hot topics, popular culture
Use non-technical language
Are written for a broad and popular audience
Rarely cite any sources
Reference Electronic Book Sources
G156.5 E226 E53 2001