When you're starting your research, you need to have a balance between brainstorming and looking for external sources.
You want to be able to feel out what you know from the top of your head and explore what you think sounds like an interesting idea, on the one hand.
On the other hand, you want to make sure you're not going too far in the wrong direction while you're still at the starting line.
It can be tempting to think you'll save time by diving right in, but taking the time to do your background research will help in the long run! Benefits include:
Mind maps are useful for capturing the connections between your ideas and revealing where you might have discovered more layers of information. You can record ideas going from broad to specific, or vice versa. As you do your background research, continue to take notes on your mind map to help flesh it out.
Credo is an easy-to-use tool for starting research. Includes materials from over 650 reference books on a variety of topics in higher education, including art, business, history, languages, literature, science, criminal justice, and political science.