STEP #1: Explore general information first.
- See the OVERVIEW SOURCES tab for help.
- This will enable you to:
- gather background about the topic: names, dates, spellings, important concepts & issues, etc.
- develop ideas for how to narrow to subtopics for deeper consideration
- build vocabulary and specific terms to use as keywords and descriptors
- gain knowledge to move your investigation into more specific sources of information.
STEP #2: Examine the scholarly literature available on the topic you select.
- See the FIND SCHOLARLY ARTICLES tab for directions.
- Make sure that you are clear about what constitutes "scholarly" so you can:
- Identify the scholarly literature.
- Examine what your sources say about the topic and related research or studies.
- Compare and contrast the points of view.
- Apply a theoretical perspective that helps you to understand your topic and find research to back this up.
STEP #3: Examine local research on both the community and the topic you select.
- See the LOCAL INFORMATION column to the right of this box.
- Understand, these will not count as scholarly sources but will help you contextualize the topic to Waverly/Wartburg.
STEP #4: Evaluate the sources you've found
- Questions to consider as you dig in:
- Is this of interest to the public? Why or why not?
- Who does it affect or include?
- Can you locate history or other reasons on why this topic continues to make the news?
- Can you distinguish between facts and opinion as you learn more?
- What questions does the coverage address or not address that pertains to sociological perspective?
STEP #4: Give credit
- It's important to cite your references appropriately. You can pick either APA or ASA style.
- See the CITING SOURCES tab for examples and further information.