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Literature Resources Library Bootcamp

Finding Relevant Resources

1. Use reference sources to explore your topic or subject interest

Find encyclopedias, handbooks, dictionaries on the library's website or through the relevant research or course guides.

 

  • Identify and make a note of terms and concepts relevant to your topic 

  • Identify scholars and individuals important to your subject area

  • Gather background information on your topic

2. Explore your topic, brainstorm and create a mind map

 

Finch, Holly. Fake News Research. MindMeister.com.

3.  Compile a list of keywords and phrases based on your preliminary research and mind map

  • Include synonyms and variant spellings 

  • Include related terms or concepts based on your preliminary research

  • Compile broad and narrow search term strings

Simple vs. Complex

Too simple: How are doctors addressing diabetes in the U.S.?

Appropriately complex: What are common traits of those suffering from diabetes in America, and how can these commonalities be used to aid the medical community in prevention of the disease?

Clarity

Unclear: Why are social networking sites harmful?

Clear: How are online users experiencing or addressing privacy issues on social networking sites like Facebook?

Focussed

Unfocused: What is the effect on the environment from global warming?

Focused: How is glacial melting affecting penguins in Antarctica?

From Topic to Research question - from Indiana University Bloomington Libraries

 

Is it Original?

 

  • Has someone already answered your research question?

 

Test the "so what?" factor

 

  • Is it relevant?
  • Is the answer obvious?
  • Why would your audience be interested?

 

Is it a feasible topic to explore?

 

  • Is there enough information on the topic?
  • Is there enough time to cover the information required to answer your research question?
  • Are the resources required available to you?

 

There are a number of ways to find resources: from a single platform, according to a subject area or specifically by the title of a database or journal