Answered By: Priscilla Coulter
Last Updated: Sep 20, 2022     Views: 3323

It’s always a good idea to find more information about a possible topic. This is called doing background research, which helps you develop a more effective topic and brainstorm ideas for better search terms or keywords. Use these strategies for doing background research:

Books often cover subjects broadly, to give readers an overview.  Textbooks and encyclopedias, in particular, are written for those who are new to a topic -- they make a good starting point when you need to familiarize yourself with a subject.

Popular articles (like those from magazines and newspapers) are typically written for a general audience, without too much technical language.  This makes them a good place to start when you need a leg-up with a new topic.

If you're a visual learner, watching a video can be a great way to get up to speed with a topic that's new to you.  The library subscribes to several multimedia databases, and collects many more that are freely available (and trustworthy).

Open web pages, like popular articles, are often intended for a general audience...but you need to be sure that you're using  one that's reputable.

Ready to begin gathering scholarly sources? These FAQs will help:

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