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HUMA 295 Dean’s Seminar: Discovering Humanities Research

This is a course guide introducing library resources that are useful for HUMA 295.

Library Literature Research



Identify Your Research Question

Identify Your Topic and the Scope

It is tricky to decide on a proper topic to work on. Here you will find a how-to guide with the tools that your can use.

Step One Evaluate how much you know and start some test searches to explore the topic

To find reliable information about your potential topic, academic reference books are always a good place to start:

 Step Two Read the overview to gain a good understanding of the scope of the topic, what are the subtopics or related topics, key issues, different opinions, key figures, places and so on. Sometimes a concept map (see the example below) will be helpful. When reading, write down the keywords or terms that you think may be useful for your future search.

Step Three Try to select one or two articles to read to collect background information. List additional keywords.

Step Four  Draft a sentence stating your topic, trying to define the scope precisely.

Step Five  Test your potential topic by using your keywords and doing searches in Library Search or other databases.

Step Six Thinking of what type of sources will be useful for your arguments: newspaper stories/cases, statistics data, academic articles, etc.

Step Seven Do some searches!

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This work by The University of Victoria Libraries is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License unless otherwise indicated when material has been used from other sources.