Explore a Topic: brainstorm your interests using Reference resources.
- Need country ideas? Start with a subject of interest (example: environment).
- Find a reference book on that subject.
- Use the call number list on the Reference page to browse an area of the print Reference Collection.
- Search online reference sources for keywords of interest.
- Reading about a topic will help you narrow your focus. For example, my interest in world religions lead me to browse the Reference Collection call number BL. I found a reference book about world religions, and I'm interested in Kathmandu, Nepal, the "City of Temples".
- Use print and online reference sources to find factual information
Next, search for books on your topic. Books, by nature of length, can provide depth to a topic and are helpful in continuing to narrow a topic.
- Search library catalogs for books.
- Search for the COUNTRY as the SUBJECT...or try COUNTRY and topical KEYWORDS.
- Example searches:
As you focus your topic, use databases to locate articles from scholarly journals and magazines
- Provides very specific research in the field
- Can lead to additional sources via the bibliography
- Current information
- Lead to additional sources of information (look for reports, data, organizations cited in the news article)
- Consider historical (older) articles primary sources of information that report eyewitness testimony
- A non-exhaustive list of US and international data sources provided on the Statistics tab
- Be aware of the data cited in the sources you read. Track down the original source of the information.
- Ask: who would want to know this information? Google that data type or search on a related organization's website.