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How to Research: 2. Understand Your Topic

Understand Your Topic

Once you have a topic, build your general knowledge of it by reading one or two encyclopedia articles.

This step is not to find sources for your paper, but for you to find out:

  1. what is known about the topic,
  2. how your sources will fit into the larger picture, and
  3. how your sources will fit together.

In the articles, you will discover keywords to use in your search strategy (Step 3). Also, understanding your topic will save you time and effort when writing your paper, because you will be able to draw logical conclusions between the sources you choose.

Find Encyclopedia Articles

Use library databases to find trustworthy information on your topic.

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