Library Research Assistance for all students in English 100
Finding Background Information
What about background Information?
Background information can help you prepare for further research by explaining issues related to your topic, especially when you're investigating a field that's unfamiliar to you. It can help you frame your topic and lead you to a thesis statement.
Check for background information in dictionaries, handbooks, and encyclopedias.
Start thinking in broad terms, then narrow down your topic.
Collect keywords or important terms, concepts and author names to use when searching databases.
Look at bibliographies in your collected sources to guide you to other sources of information (books, articles, etc.)
Library Resource for Background Information
Provides full-text access to a large digital collection of reference materials. In addition to dictionaries and encyclopedias, biographies, maps and images are available.
Finding a Topic
Finding a Topic
Finding a topic is one of the most important steps in the research process. Here are a few pointers and help for finding the right one:
- Find a Research Topic (Depaul University)A short guide with tips and a video to help you decide on your topic.
- Using Library Sources to find a topicFrom the University of Alaska Fairbanks, this vide shows you ho to use CQ Researcher and Credo Reference to find potential topics.
Using the Right Keywords
Keywords and Search Strategy
Using the right keywords will help you shorten the research process and provide you with more relevant and usable sources for your paper.
- Choosing and Using Keywords TutorialMaui College librarians created this tutorial on choosing and using keywords.
- Identifying Keywords (From Indiana University)A simple one-page handout on discovering and using keywords.
- Search Strategy Worksheet (From Hunter College)A simple worksheet to help you identify relevant keywords as well as put them together to search for information.
- Hunter College video on keywords and search strategyThis 5 1/2 minute video offers a nice introduction to keywords and their power in effective searching.
Writing a Thesis
A formulated thesis can help focus your keywords and search strategy because you know the direction you want the research to take you.
- Purdue OWL Guide to writing thesis statementsIncludes examples of different thesis styles based on the type of paper you are writing.
- UNC Writing Center handout on Thesis StatementsA helpful guide on thesis statements including a checklist to make sure you have a strong one.
- Last Updated: Aug 18, 2022 8:57 AM
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