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  24/7 A Library Research Guide and Webletter

#1 IDENTIFYING AND DEVELOPING YOUR TOPIC

State your topic as a question. For example, if you are interested in finding out about the use of alcoholic beverages by college students, you might ask the question, "What effect does use of alcoholic beverages have on the health of college students?" Identify the main concepts or keywords in your question.

Web sites
Documents in The News
curent events research from many official world-wide documents; maintained by the University of Michigan Documents Center
Hot Research Paper Topics
selected web sites chosen by librarians at St. Ambrose University
Hot Topics: Selected Internet Resources
changing selection of new & newsworthy sites from the Chicago Public Library
Internet Public Library
created by a team of librarians and supported by the School of Information, University of Michigan, this award-winning web site was one of the first subject directories on the web
Internet Resources
monthly webliographies on a variety of subjects compiled and evaluated by librarians and published in College & Research Libraries News
Librarians' Index to The Internet
searchable, annotated subject directory of a wide variety of Internet resources selected and evaluated by librarians for their usefulness
Society: Issues
well-organized selection of topics appropriate for research papers and speeches from the Google directory
WebWatch
monthly webliographies on a variety of subjects compiled and evaluated by librarians and published in Library Journal
World Wide Web Virtual Library
oldest catalog of the web, started by Tim Berners-Lee, the creator/inventor of html and the web

Selected Reference Books In The Oakton Library
100 Research Topic Guides for Students
Call Number: REF Z710.B73 1996 (DP)

100 More Research Topic Guides for Students
Call Number: REF Z710.M19 1999 (DP & RHC)

10,000 Ideas for Term Papers, Projects, Reports and Speeches
Call Number: REF LB1047.3.L35 (DP)

Tip
Test the main concepts or keywords in your topic by searching the appropriate background sources or by using your search terms in the ILLINET Online book catalog, in online periodical indexes or authoritative web sites. In the example above, the main concepts or key words are alcoholic beverages, health and college students.

Note
If you are finding too much information or too many sources when you search electronically, narrow your topic by using "and": beer and health and college students, for example.

Finding too little information may indicate that you need to broaden your topic.
Look for information on students rather than college students. Increase your
hits by using the word "or": beverages or wind or beer or liquor.

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