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Below is a sample of the login screen for off-campus access to library databases. Use your AccessRio login and password.
Start by Doing Background Reading:
First, you need to do background reading. Doing so at the beginning of your research helps you understand your topic right from the start. You will be able to put your topic in context and create research questions that drive your search for information. In addition, when you continue researching you will know if what you find is relevant and useful.
You need to begin understanding your topic early in order to know:
You do not have to read a lot of books to get this valuable background information. In addition to reference books that you'll find in the library catalog, you can use articles and book chapters from the library's online databases of articles and reference e-books. Listed to the right are selected background resources.
Conduct your pre-research by using some general and discipline-specific reference sources:
Develop a general or broad topic from your background reading
From your general topic and readings you can begin to develop a refined topic that will developed into a thesis statement or research question.
If your topic is too broad begin to narrow/refine it by adding an aspect of the topic, a time period, limit it to a location/geography, population, etc.
Below is an example of narrowing the topic of:
|aspects of the topic||
law and legislation
United States (or another country)
Teens or Juveniles
Arrive at a researchable thesis or research question
Given your assigned question, how can you arrive at a researchable thesis statement that you can discuss in a well-argued paper?
Keywords and concepts describe the main idea(s) of your topic and enable you to focus your research.
Does Education reduce recidivism in Prisons?
Use the Library Catalog to find books, both in print and online! If you've used the Library Catalog before, you will notice that we have a new interface.
The most common search options are:
Search by Keyword to get started. Keywords should include the main ideas of your topic and/or synonyms.
To locate ebooks, look for records that say Available Online (see the fourth book in the example below).
You can apply a filter under Availability (see example below). Select Available online.
If you're feeling extra, check out our other useful filters!
Find the view Full Text link under View Online (see example below). This link wlll open up to one of our ebook databases. If you are accessing from off-campus, you will be asked to log in with your AccessRio.
If you are looking for ebooks that offer a more general overview of a topic, we recommend using Gale eBooks (formerly known as Gale Virtual Reference Library). This database is like an academic version of Wikipedia because it has encyclopedia entries that can be searched by keyword or topic. Try searching it now!