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Contemporary & Popular Issues: hot topics research

Library research tools to help you find sources for research and writing on current events, hot topics and pro/con issues

things to remember

When searching discipline or subject-specific resources, you may find that:

  • ...you need to change the terminology/keywords you are using to better fit that discipline or profession 
  • ...the articles are written in technical and scholarly language
  • ...you need to refine the search strategy more than once
  • ...you need to search across multiple subjects
  • ...some of the subject specific resources, are also format specific; some resources will ONLY contain scholarly articles or media or newspaper articles or conference proceedings, etc

RESEARCH BY SUBJECT

You may find that you need to move beyond the interdisciplinary resources and into a more targeted search. 
Use the "Research Tools" tab on the library's homepage to access the listing of databases/resources by subject and discipline for a more guided search.  Browse subject listings on the A-Z List.

Some of our most popular subject areas are listed below... 

STEP 3: REFINING YOUR RESULTS

Databases are your primary search tool for finding articles on a topic.

To choose an appropriate database, ask yourself which disciplines are relevant to your topic. A paper about global warming, for example, may be relevant to a number of disciplines including environmental science, political science, and business. Once you decide which discipline(s) to focus on, select databases by subject from our A-Z  List.

To find recommended databases to use as starting points by popular disciplines, visit the Research: Start page and select the appropriate subject/discipline on the list on the left.

Use the tools built-in to the databases and other resources to help guide you, such as subject headings, tags, related searches, etc.

  • Continue to search and narrow down your topic to make it more manageable and specific
  • Try not to enter a long string of words or complete phrases in a single search box, some databases won't give you successful search results, try instead to break up you search into a few key words and terms
  • Repeat, repeat, repeat; you may need to repeat the process more than once in order to get to the exact type of results you are looking for
  • Try to use multiple databases, don't be satisfied with the results from just one database
  • Ask for help!  Consult with the librarians.  They can recommend other resources and help you fine-tune your search for information.