After thoroughly examining your assignment, now it's time to learn more about a potential topic. To begin narrowing your topic, start by looking for general background information on your topic. You can look for background information pretty much anywhere (your textbook, even Wikipedia!), but we also recommend the database below. You can read the articles, or use the mind map to explore different or related aspects of the topic. Please note, background research will not be used as sources for your paper (they're not primary scientific peer-reviewed research), but it's a great way to start the exploratory phase of your research and also to get familiar with the topic and the vocabulary that goes with it.
As you read and explore, take notes on the concepts and ideas that interest you. Write down what questions you have or areas that need further reading/exploration.
If you start with a large topic, write down potential sub-topics or smaller aspects that might make a good topic for your paper.
Also consider the following questions that will help you narrow and search for information later:
In addition to the tools above, you can browse the library's books and ebooks to search for additional background information on your topic and/or explore further ideas. Books will not count as science journal sources, but they still may provide valuable insight and information for you. If you have any questions, please Ask a Librarian.
Use the search box below to search for books at the SCC Library.
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