Consider what associations or other organizations might be involved in your topic, since they will likely be leading conversations related to your topic. You can explore what's out there through a google search. Also consult some of the suggestions below:
Reference books are a fantastic way to enter the conversation. They give you overviews of topics, search term ideas, and often lists of recommended reading. Here are a few that may be especially useful. Be sure to search the library catalog or ask Julie for help in finding more.
Reference books are located on the main floor, Beck Hall side of the building. They can't be checked out but you can scan pages and email them to yourself.
You should also take a look at CQ Researcher, which is found in the reference section (REF H35 .E352). Most recent issues are in a binder and you'll also find materials by year. The CQ Researcher contains in-depth pamphlets on a variety of subjects. Search the index to find the most recent info about your topic.
The strategies we use for researching issues in our communities are similar to the ones we use for any other kind of research. Research is a conversation (for more about this, see the video to the left!), and in order to know what experts are talking about in your area of study, you need to gain a broad understanding of the conversations happening around your topic before you can start contributing meaningfully to the conversation. For your topics, you will want to consider what the scholarly literature says about your topic, as well as track down examples of how the conversation is playing out both locally and more broadly.
Here's an overview of strategies for doing this kind of research:
USE THE MATERIALS ON THIS GUIDE TO ENTER, EXPLORE AND EVALUATE THE CONVERSATION SURROUNDING YOUR TOPIC.
You can always get in contact with Julie with any questions or issues, or if you just want advice on how to proceed. Use the contact information under my picture to get ahold of me. Or send me a message on Slack!
Use the following databases to search for articles about your topic. Search both during the Enter and Explore stages of research. Look for materials about your topic and then return to find additional sources.
There are many places to find statistics. Pay attention to any articles or books you're reading, as they will likely contain statistics about your topics already. You can also try some of these places:
If doing research in the library and at the college level is relatively new to you, have no fear. You can always ask for help in the library, either at the Reference Desk or, if no one's at the Reference Desk, at the Information Desk. Both are right inside the front entrance of the library.
You might also find this guide useful in answer basic questions about how the library (and research) work.