IRIS 42: Information and Research Instruction Suite for two-year colleges

Collect Background Information

A little time now May save a lot of time later

Collecting a little background information on your topic idea can to help you define and focus your interest into something researchable. You can also find out if your topic is something you want to spend some time with, and if it's researchable.

jot down a few topic ideas as keywords to use in prelimiary searchingJot down a few keywords (terms) related to your topic, then perform some preliminary, basic searches in general tools that can give you an overview. Some excellent tools for collecting background information:

In doing your preliminary research, if you discover that this topic has possibilities, take the time to add additional words to your keyword list.

Collecting background information is not the same as conducting research. At this point you're just getting a general "feel" for your topic. An hour spent on this step may save your countless hours later.

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