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Boatwright Memorial Library

LALIS 453: Romantic Spain: Getting Started

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Starting Your Research

Getting Started with Your Research

I recommend that you start by asking yourself concrete questions of the sort that will generate a plan of action. Each of them can be expanded and repeated as necessary.

  • What do I want to know? (Make yourself an initial list of questions)
  • Do I need background information on people, places, concepts, events?
  • Who (what field of study, group of researchers, organizations, etc.) is likely to have published relevant information or ideas? 
  • Where and in what form are the results of their research likely to be published?
  • What questions should I ask in trying to identify that research?
  • How should I interpret or evaluate the information I find?
  • Are there primary (un-interpreted) sources I should consult?  Who would have created them?
  • What new questions are raised by these sources, both primary and secondary?

Make your life easier: Keep track of your research progress by recording the following:

  •  Bibliographic information on the works you consult;
  •  Any developments or refinements in your topic;
  •  Names of key persons, authorities, cases, places, or events;
  •  New terms you discover in titles, abstracts, or articles that might be helpful in searching for other sources.
  •  Saving search results to an electronic file, for easier searching and sorting later.

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