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Before you develop your research topic or question, you'll need to do some background research first.
Some good places to find background information:
Try the library databases below to explore your topic. When you're ready, move on to refining your topic.
Now that you've done some background research, it's time to narrow your topic. Remember: the shorter your final paper, the narrower your topic needs to be. Here are some suggestions for narrowing and defining your topic:
Describe and develop your topic in some detail. Try filling in the blanks in the following sentence, as much as you can:
I want to research ____(what/who)____
Most words have synonyms that mean the same, or very similar, things. For each keyword in your topic, try to come up with at least one synonym. Not all keywords will have synonyms, but many do!
Keep an Eye Out
Sometimes scholars use terms that you might not be familiar with, or which might mean something very specific within the discipline. While searching, look for unfamiliar terms or words that show up a lot. Try searching for those and see if you find more relevant sources.
Look on the left and right of your search results, or for an "advanced search" page to find these tools - and more!
You can evaluate any source using the 5 W's: