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LIT4253 / 4224: Exile and Literature

GATHERING BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Once you've decided on a topic, it's helpful to gather as much basic information on it as possible.  Having a solid general understanding of your topic/subject is the first step to building a research strategy.  Start off with getting a general understanding of your topic by collecting background information through things like encyclopedias, basic Internet searching, news, etc.  A good place to start (especially if you don't know much about your topic), is the Library Catalog, to help you find books that will give you general information. Encyclopedias are good for concise explanations and contextual data.  Use Credo Reference, linked below, as starting point for exploring.

It's is also important, as you are gathering some of this basic background information, to start noticing keywords, terms, related topics, and/or synonyms you may want to be adding to your database/article searches later. 

search the catalog

Search FIU Libraries' Catalog


catalog tips

The Library Catalog will allow you to do some basic keyword searching, but to get more specific and fuller results that relate more directly to your topic, you may want to try to search within/for Subject Headings: just change your 'Anywhere' search to a 'Subject Heading' search. This means you'll use subject headings, a controlled vocabulary of words in all catalog records that bring similar titles together when no words in the book title match your search or you do want to include books written in other languages.

Helpful subjects for your course might be author names or titles of their major works... they'll look something like this:

  •  Nabokov, Vladimir Vladimirovich, 1899-1977
  •  Nabokov, Vladimir
  • Wiesel, Elie 
  • Danticat, Edwidge -- Criticism and Interpretation
  • Exiles' writings -- History and criticism
  • Exiles in literature
  • Outsiders in literature
  •  Identity in literature
  • ...etc.