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UNST 231A Gender & Sexualities - McDaneld: Home

Analyzing your Topic for Better Searching

Before you get started on finding (and then evaluating) resources for your Annotated Bibliography assignment, take some time to think about these questions.  Use the diagram below to make notes and jot down keywords on your topic.

Is your topic very specific?
What bigger subject is your topic a small part of?
Are there more specific instances of your topic?

Who cares about your topic?  Researchers and writers in what discipline would write about your topic?

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Subject Guide

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Linda Absher
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Where You Gonna Look?

concentric circles showing scope and situation of topic

If your topic is extremely local, your information resources will likely be local, e.g. newspapers, blogs, local media.
Think about how your topic fits into national level issues or movements.  Zooming out to a broader level may allow you to look at your topic in a broader context and you will be able to find more scholarly sources on the topic. You can also expand your understanding of your topic by using encyclopedias and reference sources to expand your background and gain a more complete overview. 

Another important question is, "Who cares about my topic?". Researchers in what discipline will be writing about my topic?  Once you've settled on that, use the Databases by Subject  guide to identify the relevant databases; use the subject guides to find important resources for studying that discipline.