Exploratory Research

A quick check to see the variety and quantity of information on your topic can save you a lot of trouble and time later in the term. You don't want a topic for which there is little or no information available. It is best to start with general terms and then narrow down to the specific as you refine your topic.

  • Choose topic
  • Check Annie for encyclopedias (general and/or subject depending on topic), handbooks, and textbooks.
    for encyclopedias, search by keyword: keyword or phrase and s:encyclopedias
      (example: economic* and development* and s:encyclopedias)
    for handbooks, search by keyword: keywords or phrase and s:handbooks
      (example: economic* and development* and s:handbooks)
  • Check general indexes (ProQuest Research Library or Expanded Academic Index)
      (Pay attention to the type of articles you retrieve, are they popular or scholarly?)

  • Check for statistical sources (the Statistical Abstract of the United States and almanacs are good places to check for many topics to see what types of data are available).


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