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The Research Process

A guide to start you on your research journey!

Choosing a topic is research!

Once you have a general sense for a topic you are interested in, it is time to do some background research. Background research can help you develop your research question, narrow your focus, and guide the direction of your paper. You may even discover other aspects of the subject that you want to investigate.


Where to Conduct Background Research

Google & Wikipedia

It is okay to get background information from a quick Google search. Ultimately, you will find more scholarly sources to use later in your paper, but Google and Wikipedia can provide you with a basic knowledge of the topic and provide you with additional keywords to use in your search.

Single Search & Research Starters

Single Search searches all of the library's databases and resources at once. We will use it again in our more formal research, but it is a great starting point for background research as well.

Single Search

When you search in Single Search, the first result for many topics will be a Research Starter. This is an excellent resource for collecting background information and discovering the many different avenues in which your topic can go. Below is an example of a research starter. Look for the yellow light bulb.