Getting Started

1.   Choosing an Essay Topic is a good general guide to get you started on identifying a research problem for your course.

2.   Dive deeper in a research topic with some background reading in the social and behavioral sciences. The following are 2 good titles:

3.   Take the time to build your search strategy once you have selected a topic and before you start your research. This means writing down your research question and identifying 2 or 3 concepts that are essential to answering the question.

4.  The Library's main search engine, Omni, is a good place to start to see how much information there is on your topic. Remember that your goal is to find a manageable amount of information! If you find too much information, you may need to narrow your topic; if you find too little, you may need to broaden it. You will likely also need to search specialized databases in the social and behavioural sciences.

5.   Track your research and manage your sources. Keeping track of what you learn from the sources that you use will help you both save time and create your bibliography as you work through your writing assignment(s). You can do this in various ways, including citation management software which is easy to learn and will help you document your research. The Library offers clinics on citation managment software every semester.

Content last reviewed: January 10, 2020