Understand your assignment:
- Do you need primary sources?
- What kind of information will you need? Books, websites, newspapers, videos, etc?
- What does your teacher expect from you?
- Be open to all types of information!
Build on your assumptions and expectations.
- Create a list of keywords, people, ideas, or phrases related to your topic.
- Great research starts with great sources:
Google is not a source!
- A source is an article, website, book, encyclopedia entry, movie, song, etc.
- Begin by looking at encyclopedias for topical overviews.
- It can be used as a tool in this beginning process, but should not be used as a source in your assignment. Use it to brainstorm keywords, gain a general understanding, and then corroborate what you find with reliable sources. Or just use a reliable encyclopedia to start with!
- Use Proquest or other library databases to gather articles and other sources.
- Take notes!
Keep a trail of your research process.
- Which keywords worked? Which did not?
- Don’t take too much time searching. Research is about reading!
* * If you are having trouble finding good things to read, ask the librarian and re-strategize your research process. Don’t get stuck with irrelevant information. Keep your topic and thesis in mind! **