This is the "First Steps" page of the "The Research Process" guide.
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The Research Process  

The basics of researching and refining a topic.
Last Updated: Nov 5, 2012 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

First Steps Print Page

Step 1: Get the Big Picture

Once you have a basic idea of what your topic is, you'll need to get an idea of the big picture. What are the major issues involved in your topic? What are the terms associated with it?

Reference sources are a great way to begin your search. They'll show you which sources experts recommend and give you ideas for specific areas of the topic you may want to research. These are often broad and general, so it's best to start here and narrow your topic down as you progress.


Step 2: Finding Books in PrattCat

The basics of PrattCat. Many books will provide a broader view of a topic than articles. If you're researching a recent topic, there may not be much information on it in books, so think general as you're searching.

Click on the bottom right of the video to view it in full screen mode.

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Google Books Demonstration

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Finding Books by Author

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Google Books

Google books allows you to search through the text of millions of books. The only drawback is that you can't read the full text of most books online. This video towards the bottom of the page shows how to find books through Google Books and see if we have the item available at the Pratt Libraries.


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