Collect Background Information
A little time now May save a lot of time later
Collecting a little background information on your topic idea can to help you define and focus your interest into something researchable. You can also find out if your topic is something you want to spend some time with, and if it's researchable.
Jot down a few keywords (terms) related to your topic, then perform some preliminary, basic searches in general tools that can give you an overview. Some excellent tools for collecting background information:
- Scan a few articles in reliable general, subject or specialized encyclopedias. You will find these in the library, and possibly online through your library's web site.
- Try out your keywords in a search engine, such as Google, but don't go too deep. Remember, you're just getting a feel for your topic, not doing the research.
In doing your preliminary research, if you discover that this topic has possibilities, take the time to add additional words to your keyword list.
Collecting background information is not the same as conducting research. At this point you're just getting a general "feel" for your topic. An hour spent on this step may save your countless hours later.Next >>