Use The Craft of Research to help conceptualize and develop your research project.
Chapter 3: From Topics to Questions guides you through the process of asking questions to help refine your topic.
Chapter 4: From Questions to a Problem helps you shape your questions into a focused hypothesis.
Chapter 5: From Problems to Sources helps you find relevant and authoritative information.
Take a cruise through one of the online tutorials listed below. They will help you develop sound research skills and may save you time in the long run.
Identify Keywords: Before searching the Library Catalog or other databases, choosing the right keywords is essential. Take a few minutes to write down all the words or phrases that describe your topic. Use these words in keyword searches. For more help with search strategies, follow the links immediately below.
Follow the Bibliographic Trail: One proven method for gathering reliable information efficiently is to follow the citations or references from one source to another. Just as internet links take you to other pages or sources recommended by a site's webmaster, the author of a book or article provides a series of notes and/or references in a bibliography designed to lead you to other sources on the topic.
Can't Find Books on Your Topic? Some content on a topic can be hidden in small chunks within general works. For example, there may be a few pages or paragraphs on the rusalki in W. F. Ryan's book Bathhouse At Midnight: An Historical Survey of Magic and Divination in Russia.
Still Can't Find Books Your Topic? Use Worldcat to searching the library cataolgs of other universities; then request to borrow the books through our Interlibrary Loan service.