Step 1: Get Topic Ideas
Start by exploring what you are interested in based on the current project at hand. The resources below are great starting points to make simple, quick searches.
Step 2: Topic Selection and Tips for Choosing a Topic
Step 3: Refining Your Topic
The Five W's: Who, What, Where, When and Why?
Who: person, or population you are researching
What: aspect or element that relates to to the topic
When: time frame, that you might use to limit your research
Where: geographic location if important
Why: Reason why research is meaningful or important, this will help you determine your scope.
Ask yourself questions about your topic using the 5W's method in order to refine your topic, and generate a list of possible keywords.
Step 4: Get Background Information
Background information can be found in:
Search for books about your topic:
Browse online encyclopedias:
Boolean operators: Simple words like AND and OR that tell the search engine you're using how to interpret your request.
*Tip: Use AND in between separate concepts that you would like to combine in your search. Use OR in between concepts that mean the same or similar, to widen your options. Example: teenager OR adolescent
Discovery tool: Digital library tool that searches sources available both via the library catalog and via subscription databases from one search box
Library catalog: Searchable index of the library’s holdings (print resources, multimedia items, and sometimes ebooks and digital periodicals to which the library subscribes)
Open web: Information on the internet that you can access for free and without a password.
Subscription databases: Collections of articles or other documents that can be searched; usually digital and accessible online