Getting started - planning and finding background info on topic
Finding Background Information
These online sources can help you to choose and refine your topic. They will also provide you with the background information and keywords and search terms.
- CQ ResearcherCQ Researcher provides in-depth coverage of important issues of the day. Reports are written by experienced journalists, footnoted, and professionally fact-checked. Full-length articles include an overview, historical background, chronology, pro/con feature, plus resources for additional research. Shorter "Hot Topics" articles provide a solid introduction to subjects in demand.
- Public AgendaThis free site provided extensive information on current and controversial issues such as abortion and legal gaming, the family, education etc. Each segment has an overview, facts and trends, different perspectives, links to news stories, and results of public opinion polls.
- Opposing Viewpoints in ContextFind articles on current issues, including viewpoint articles, topic overviews, statistics, primary documents, magazine and newspaper articles.
Tutorial: Choosing a research paper topic
Find articles using article databases
- Academic Search PremierA great place to start your research on any topic, search multidisciplinary, scholarly research articles. This database provides access to scholarly and peer reviewed journals, popular magazines and other resources. View this tutorial to learn how to go from a general idea to a very precise set of results of journal articles and scholarly materials.
- JSTORFind full text articles in academic journals or books on the arts, humanities, social sciences, and sciences. JSTOR provides articles from the journal's first issue. In some cases the most recent 2-5 years may not be available. View this tutorial to learn how to go from a general idea to a very precise set of results of journal articles and scholarly materials.
- ScopusSearch for information from scientific journals, books and conference proceedings. Covers the fields of science, technology, medicine, social sciences, and arts and humanities.
- Web of ScienceA comprehensive interdisciplinary collection of journal article citations. Subjects generally covered are within science and technology, arts and humanities, and social sciences. View this tutorial to learn how to go from a general idea to a very precise set of results of journal articles and scholarly materials.
- Ethnic NewsWatchEthnic NewsWatch is a current resource of full-text newspapers, magazines, and journals of the ethnic and minority press from 1990, providing researchers access to essential, often overlooked perspectives.
Citing your sources (e.g. MLA, APA, etc.)
- Citation Managers (e.g. Zotero, EndNote Online, etc.)Citation managers are software packages used to create personalized databases of citation information and notes. They allow you to: import and organize citation information from article indexes and other sources; save links to pdfs and other documents; format citations for your papers and bibliographies using APA and many other styles; and include your own notes.
Many article databases (e.g. Academic Search Premier, Google Scholar) will create a citation for you. After you found the item, look for "cite" or "quotes." Here are examples:
In Google Scholar:
In Academic Search Premier:
- Chicago Manual of Style OnlineThis resource provides online access to the latest edition of The Chicago Manual of Style, which covers a variety of topics from manuscript preparation and publication to grammar, usage, and citation formating. The citation quick guide covers both the author-date and the notes and bibliography systems.
- Citation and research help (from Purdue OWL)Examples and instructions for how to cite many types of materials in MLA, APA, Chicago, and AMA styles.
Learn more about on annotated bibliographies
Annotated Bibliography from UW-Madison
An annotated bibliography is an organized list of sources, each of which is followed by a brief note or “annotation.”
- How to write an annotated bibliographyLearn more about annotated bibliographies.
- Writing Evaluative Annotated BibliographiesThis chapter includes useful questions to guide you in writing annotations for an annotated bibliography.
Get help from the U Libraries - Online!
Peer Research ConsultantsMake an online 30 minute appointment for one-on-one peer assistance with your research. Get help with researching your topic, finding sources, citing sources and more. Peer Research Consultants can also help you get started with faculty-sponsored research.
Chat 24/7 online with the LibrariesAsk us anything! Chat with a librarian, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with any research or library questions.
Schedule an online consultation with the LibrariesSchedule an online consultations for personalized research support primarily for University of Minnesota faculty, instructors, graduate and undergraduate students and staff.
Tutorial: What does it mean to be a scholarly source?
Last Updated: Apr 4, 2023 11:47 AM