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FYS 100 (06): Noble Beasts: Animals in Our Lives and Literature: Home

How to Narrow and Focus Your Topic

Start by phrasing your subject or general topic in the form of a question.

Then ask yourself further questions about your topic:

  • What do you know about it? What don't you know?
  • What aspects or viewpoints of your topic interest you? Examples include social, ethical,  psychological, aesthetic, economic, political, and philosophical.
     
  • How does your topic fit into a larger system or structure? Do you need articles and books from the field of biology? psychology? art? law?

    Remember, there are two layers of research:
  • 1) a broad search to discover resources and to read some background information
    2) specific searches for information once you've focused your topic.
     

LibGuides Menu

Basic Library Tools

Clicking on the title of a book from the list of results  displays the details about the title, it location, its availability, the subject headings assigned to it, and often its contents.

Depending on the type of material,  you may need to use the location and call number information to find the material on the shelf in the library, or, if it is an online resource, click on the link to the full text.

On the right side of the page, you also have options to email, save to a citation database format, or add to a list of saved titles in in your account (you'll have to sign in to do this). Simply click on the available links.

Further information on choosing databases in Ebscohost and doing combined searches can be found on this guide: http://support.ebsco.com/help/index.php?help_id=75

Further information on searching Academic Search Complete and other Ebscohost databases can be found on this Help page:

http://support.ebsco.com/help/index.php?help_id=67