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The Research Process: Step 3

An overview of the Research Process, which includes information about search strategies, how to choose and refine topics, kinds of resources, and citing sources


Download Worksheets (PDF) detailing The Research Process.  To view the file, you will need Acrobat Reader, which you can download for free from Adobe.

Find Background Information

Read background material to get an overview of your topic.

Overviews often introduce us to historical contexts as well as current controversies surrounding a particular subject.

You may find information that will help broaden or narrow your topic, as well as more potential search terms. You might find answers to preliminary questions (from Step 1) that you had about the topic.

The Library’s Reference collection is a great place to start. You will find information from encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, etc., some of which are general in nature, and some of which are very specialized. For assistance, stop by the reference desk, email, or call 410-777-2456.

Many of the library's reference books are available online. From off-campus, you will need to log in with either your MyAACC username and password or the barcode number from the back of your Truxal Library card:

Research Assistance

More ways to get help:

Library photo courtesy of Barry Halkin Photography