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ENGL 101 - English Composition I - Katzoff

What are you CURIOUS about?

You see it all starts with a question. It doesn't matter what you ask, just that you ask, because the questions you find are more important than the answers.

Background Resources: DO NOT COUNT AS A RESOURCE

Credo Reference

Credo Reference

Articles from encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other reference sources from all subject areas. Includes images, audio pronunciation files, maps, and data tables.

Gale Ebooks

Gale Ebooks

Collection of encyclopedias, dictionaries and handbooks covering a variety of subject areas.

Oxford Reference Online

Oxford Reference Online

Articles from encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other reference sources from all subject areas. Includes quotations, maps, and illustrations.

How To: Background Reading to Understand Your Topic

There is a tendency for people to type general questions into a database and hope for the best. While this barely works for Google, it definitely doesn't work well with the databases. If you think about the questions you have, the things you are curious about, you can work from a simple question toward one that uses more academically inclined language, you will do better research overall. Here is an example of how background reading can help you make your topic easier to research:

Initial Topic: Why are bees disappearing?

I am not a bee expert, but I know the answer lies within science. If I choose AccessScience and type in bees disappearing, I find this article titled "Colony Collapse Disorder"

From this article, I can answer some questions I didn't even know I had.   

This table explains how general terms can be adjusted to specific terms. 
General Term What I didn't know before Better Choice
bees What kind of bees? adult honeybees
disappearing Is there a term scientists use for this? "Colony Collapse Disorder"
why What explanations exist?  pesticides

From here I can adjust my original question about why bees are disappearing to include language that will lead me to more academic resources.

How do pesticides impact colony collapse disorder in adult honeybees?