Getting Started

General Background Reading

getting started search strategy searching evaluate, cite, write

It helps to do some basic, general background reading to get an overview of your topic.

Some suggested sources for background information:

What do you know about your topic from talking to others/previous experience/reading/the media?

Consult course materials such as textbooks, study guides and recommended or supplementary materials.

Consult reference tools such as dictionaries, glossaries, and encyclopedias. You can find reference books at local public, college, or university libraries. View Sample Reference Tools for Women's Studies.

You can also find reference tools online in AU Library's Digital Reference Centre.

Research tip: As you learn more about your topic, and through all stages of the research process, take notes. Write down any important terms or synonyms used to describe your topic. These words will help you develop a list of search terms to use later on. Also, be sure to write down the complete reference (including page numbers) for any information you record. You will need this when you are citing your sources.
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