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Research Toolkit: Where to Begin Your Search

Background Research

Background research helps you develop a more effective research question, as well as leading you to additional keywords and search terms. Here are some places to find help with background research:

  • Your instructor is a great resource! They understand your assignment and can provide good advice about your topic and how to frame your research question.
  • Talk with a librarian. We can help at any stage of your research project.
  • Check the K Library Research Guides for resources to explore in specific disciplines. 

Resources for background info on potential topics:

Where you search depends on the sources you need. Helpful starting questions:

  1. Does your assignment require you to use specific sources?
  2. Does your topic lend itself to a particular type of source? Books may be the best source for some topics, while other topics are covered in journal articles, and the latest news sources may be best for current topics.
You want to... Where you should start...
Find books Library OneSearch
Find articles on a topic A-Z Databases, list of over 270 library databases
Search a database that covers many subjects Academic Search Complete or ProQuest Central
Find an article by title Library OneSearch
Find a journal by title Online Journals @ K
Find newspaper articles NewsBank, The New York Times, Historical Newspapers