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Introduction to Research

This guide will give you a brief introduction to starting your research assignment at the Sprague Library.

Find and Refine Topic

Picking your topic IS research!

Background Information: The Wikipedia Alternative

Here are a couple of databases that you can consult to help you find and/or refine your topic. They contain articles that give you a broad overview of a topic and can help you identify keywords. Sometimes you’ll find a pro/con essay about your topic.

You can also find background information by searching the "Find Articles & More" search on the library homepage (link below). These short articles are mostly from online encyclopedias. If you need more ideas for background information, check out the entire research guide devoted to this topic, linked below.

Find Books

You can also find books on your topic. As opposed to scholarly articles, books tend to deal with a topic more broadly (e.g. Popular Culture and American Society) and they can help you to refine your topic and find good keywords.

Search Sprague’s books and media using keywords. Once you’ve done an initial search, make sure the tick box on the left hand side is limited to books.

Find Books & Media tab on library homepage

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