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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).
Reading to Write
Reading, note-taking, and writing strategies from University of North Carolina
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.
Full-text, balanced, comprehensive journalistic reports and analysis of current and controversial issues of the day.
Gale in Context: Opposing Viewpoints
Provides topic overviews as well as collects a variety of sources, including statistics, reference materials, journal articles, news articles, images, and audio broadcasts.
Useful when you're starting out on a research project. Do simple searches to find topic introductions in a variety of subjects. The mind map tool will help you discover related ideas and terms.
New York Times: Create Your Account
Use your Lone Star email address to create an account via this link. Once you've made an account, you can go straight to the regular NYT site (nytimes.com) and log in as if you were a paying subscriber.
Issues & Controversies
Full-text articles from different points of view on important issues in today's news, plus statistics, images, related court cases, and more.
White House page on popular issues and the sitting president’s actions on them.
Pew Research Center
Non-partisan, non-advocacy public opinion resource. Analysis of polling and data-driven social science research.
This resource is a search engine of United States government agencies and websites.