I want to learn more about possible topics

Before beginning more in-depth research, it's often helpful to get an overview of your topic through background research. This can help you develop a more effective research question and brainstorm better search terms.

  • Your instructor understands your assignment and can provide advice about the topic and how to frame it.
  • Subject specific Encyclopedias can help you develop your topic and identify key search terms. They contain short topic overviews and scholarly references. Search OMNI for your topic AND encyclopedia [for example: popular music AND encyclopedia]
  • Check out Wikipedia but remember you cannot use it as a source!
  • Ask a Librarian! We're available in person, via virtual chat, text, email, and phone.
  • If there are journals related to the general area you are studying and you're brainstorming possible topics, look through recent tables of contents for ideas and background information on possible topics. You may browse journals.
  • Check out our Subject and Course Guides to get more ideas for background research.

Here are a few useful databases for exploring potential topics:

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