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Library 101: Topics & Background Info

This guide provides research strategies and recommended resources for research in Library 101.

Choosing a Topic and Finding Background Information

Try creating a concept map to brainstorm topic ideas. Or, start by searching for information about subjects that interest you, using Google or Wikipedia.

If you are interested in controversial topics, pro/con databases and websites are good places to get ideas about current social issues:

  • Explore the Browse Issues section of the Opposing Viewpoints in Context database for topic ideas (you'll be prompted to log in with your Pipeline information from off campus).
  • Explore the issues on the ProCon.org website (this website is freely available and won't require a login).

Once you have a broad idea of your topic, Library reference sources like those listed below are a great place to find objective background information. They can also help you narrow your topic and discover keywords for further searching.

Online Reference Sources

To access these reference databases from off campus, you will be prompted to log in with your Pipeline username and password.

Print Reference Sources

Print reference books on a wide range of subjects are located in the Luria Library reference section. Ask a librarian for help finding the best book for your topic.

Credo Video: How to Narrow Your Topic

The following video provides strategies for narrowing a topic (from off campus you will need to log in using your Pipeline username and password):