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Monmouth College Hewes Library

ISTU 100: Introduction to International Studies: Start Here

Start Here

Research Guide for ISTU 100: Introduction to International Studies

The Research Strategies below provide a general outline of how to approach your topic.
The resources mentioned can be located in the tabs above.

Outline of Research Strategies

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.
    • Reference materials can also be found
    • 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.

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.

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