Info Search read for overview of various topics

Use the notes you've made and the thinking you've done so far to select some areas for general reading. Use the library's reference room--encyclopedias, dictionaries, almanacs--to get an overview of possible topics (even if your instructor has told you that you can't use an encyclopedia as a reference--that's not important at this stage).

Explore CD-ROM tools in your library, like newspaper and magazine indexes, searching with key words representing your topic ideas. Explore the internet by using several of the resources organized by subject. The Info Search section of this manual (p. 20) will help you learn how and where to find these resources.

Remember to keep your concept of topic rather broad at this stage--you can look for a focus later, after you know something about the topic. Read the article "Narrowing Your Essay Topic," from the University of Victoria, (http://webserver.maclab.comp.uvic.ca/writersguide/Pages/EssayNarrowTopics. html) for some specific examples of broader and narrower topics. Also consider framing your topic as a question, as recommended by the HCCS Libraries in "The Art of Research Questions"

(http://www.hccs.cc.tx.us/Library/Center/Lobby/Question.html).

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