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Picking Your Topic IS Research
The Research Process
- Select an interesting and doable topic.
- Spend some time doing background reading on your topic
- .Background reading can show you the different facets of a topic and provide you with more vocabulary words to use in your searching.
- Another strategy is to locate a book on your topic and examine the chapter titles in the table of contents and entries in the index at the back of the book to learn more about aspects of the topic that could narrow your research question.
- Identify each component of your topic.
- Select appropriate terms to describe the components and use truncation as appropriate.
- Determine the correct use of Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT).
- Select fields to search if appropriate (author, title, subject).
- Limit your results as necessary (date, scholarly vs. popular, etc.).
- Evaluate your results and rethink your strategy as necessary.
Online Sources for Background
Credo Reference This link opens in a new window
Collection of fulltext online reference materials. Content includes dictionaries, encyclopedias, atlases, and subject-specific titles from art to accountancy, science to Shakespeare, and law to literature. Coverage varies by title.
Contemporary Musicians This link opens in a new window
Provides biographical information on important figures in today's musical arena, covering artists working in all genres of modern music, including rock, jazz, pop, rap, rhythm and blues, folk, New Age, country, gospel and reggae.
Gale Virtual Reference Library This link opens in a new window
ONCE LOGGED INTO GALE, IF ASKED FOR A PASSWORD AT THE SIGN IN BOX, TYPE albright.--
GVRL is a collection of electronic reference materials in a variety of subjects.