Explore a Topic: inform yourself on the context of a topic using background resources.
- Obtain definitions, historical context, factual information
- Become knowledgable about a subject to help find a focus
Next, search for books on your topic. Books, by nature of length, can provide depth and are helpful in narrowing a topic.
- Try KEYWORD and SUBJECT searching in the library catalog
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.