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Seven Steps to Library Research: Your Topic

Seven Steps to Library Research - A step-by-step guide to efficient research using your MSJC Library.

Identify Your Topic

Identify a Topic.
If you haven't picked a topic yet, see the box to the right Suggestions for Finding a Topic.

State your topic idea as a question.
For example, if you are interested in finding out about use of medical marijuana to stop pain, you might pose the question, "How medical marijuana can help in the treatment of pain?"

Identify the main concepts or keywords in your question. In this case they are medical marijuana and pain.

Develop Your Topic

Test Your Topic

Test the main concepts or keywords in your topic by looking them up in the appropriate background sources or by using them as search terms in WorldCat you can select the format (type of material) that you are looking for by clicking in the boxes to the left of your search results..

If you are finding too much information and too many sources, narrow your topic by using the boolean operator and: marijuana and pain for example.

Finding too little information may indicate that you need to broaden your topic. For example, look for information on medical marijuana, rather than marijuana.

Suggestions For finding A Topic

-Discuss your topic ideas with your class instructor.

-Discuss your topic ideas with a reference librarian

-Explore possible topics using:
CQ Researcher Online OR
Opposing Viewpoints in Context.

After identifying a topic see Test Your Topic