Selecting a Topic - Background Information and Topic Overview
Browse a subject-specific encyclopedia. A good encyclopedia can provide beginning researchers with the following:
- an overview of a topic and how it fits into the broader picture,
- the various aspects of a topic to help broaden or narrow the area of research,
- the vocabulary associated with the topic to help identify appropriate keywords to use at the computer,
- the names of important people, companies or places involved with the topic,
- a bibliography to lead to other relevant items on the topic, including major studies, books, articles and researchers.
Some good examples are:
- Encyclopedia of Drugs, Alcohol and Addictive Behavior. [Ref 362.293 E56C2 2000] 4 vols.
- MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia, includes over 4,000 articles about medicine and allied fields.