When you are beginning your research, you may not understand all of the elements of your topic. There are several great resources that can help you find quick information that is still reputable, meaning you can still cite it in your paper (unlike some online resources like Wikipedia).
A great way to find some quick background info on a person, country, or topic is to search within the Quick Topic Search on the Library homepage.
For many searches for well-known figures, events, and topics, the first result will be a "Research Starter." These research starters are generated from reputable encyclopedias, which you can confidently cite in your paper.
The Library has numerous encyclopedias on educational topics that can get you started with your research.
To find books and media on your topic, do a keyword search for your topic in the Quick Topic Search on the Library homepage. Use the filters on the side of the page to limit to books, e-books, videos, etc.
Once you find a good resource, take a look at the "subjects" on the item record to find other similar books or videos.
1. Use main concepts as search words
Your search words should be only the words that express the main concepts in your research topic. Words that don't convey main concepts should not be used as search terms. They can cause many useful things to be left out of your search results.
Here are some types of words to avoid:
2. Try alternate search words
Different words can be used to represent the same main concept. Be prepared to think of synonyms or related terms. They can help you
3. Save time by using * to search for variations on a word
Example: educat* = education, educator, educate, educated, etc.