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Honors Project | Federal Government (Plank): Getting Started

Fall 2018 | GOVTH 2305 | Prof. Plank

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Research Process

Step 1: Background Information. After you identify your research topic and some keywords that describe it, find and read articles in subject encyclopedias (not Wikipedia). Credo Reference (see link in the Getting Started box below) contains items that will help you understand the context (historical, cultural, disciplinary) of your topic. Background information is the foundation supporting further research. Class textbooks also provide definitions of terms and background information.

Step 2: Dig Deeper. Exploit the citations within background information articles to dig deeper into your subject. Bring the keywords to Academic Search Complete or JSTOR databases to develop your research further. At this stage ask questions of the information specialists (librarians) to be sure you are in the right resource and using effective research strategies.

Step 3: Take Notes. Take good notes as you read. You will save time if you take notes that are in your own words (paraphrasing).

Step 4: Create Citations. Locate citation tools within the databases to help you create CMS citations. You may be able to copy and paste the citations into your tentative "Bibliography" page. Be sure to check the accuracy with an expert source (see Writing & Citing tab).

Background & Overview Information

Get some ideas of issues in play and do some background reading using the sources below. These are good, credible sources, but are not scholarly.  You will find the scholarly sources on the next tab. 

Accessing the Databases

Access 100+ databases organized by subject area from the Research Databases page. Also try our dynamic, sortable database list!

Student ID BadgeTo access the databasesAccess only available off-campus with a 14-digit library barcode from LSCS from off-campus, you must provide the 14-digit library barcode from the back of your student ID.