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Core collection of titles from the Oxford series of reference books
Includes over 120 reference books covering art, the sciences, literature, history, law, the performing arts, religion, computing, economics and business, general reference, and much more.; Full-text; Varies by title, 2002 - present
Provides full search capabilities of the most recent McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology.
Includes all definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, news articles from Science News, research updates from the Yearbook of Science and Technology, and biographies from Hutchinson Dictionary of Scientific Biography. Full-text; Most recent edition
In-depth reports and background information on major current topics and policy issues.
Covering such topics as: social programs, health, social trends, criminal justice, education, the environment, technology, and the economy. Complete summaries, pros and cons, bibliographies and background information are included in each report.; Full-text reports; charts; 1923 - present
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, legal, medical, ethical, biological, psychological, economic, political, and philosophical. A viewpoint allows you to focus on a single aspect.
What time period do you want to cover?
What place or geographic region do you want to cover? Examples include national, international, local social norms & values, economic & political systems, or languages.
What population do you want to cover? Examples include gender, age, occupation, ethnicity, nationality, educational attainment, species, etc.
How does your topic fit into a larger system or structure?
Next, look for resources which provide background information. Some selected general and specialized subject sources can help narrow the topic.
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.