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DAN 336: Dance History

This subject guide will assist you in finding books, journal articles, and websites, as well as assist you in developing your research skills using the recommended resources.

The Research Process: Getting Started

Explore your topic.

"Exploring" by kevin dooley is licensed under CC BY 2.0

1. Explore your topic.

Before deciding on a research topic, learn more about your topic first. Has a lot of information been published on your topic? How old is the information you've found? Unless you're exploring a historical topic/concept/event, look for the most current information you can find.

Some good places to find information:

Find background information.

"Database" by christophe.benoit74 is licensed under CC BY 2.0


2. Find background information on your topic.

Library databases are a great place to find information on your topic!

For a tutorial on how to find articles at the LWLC, click here.

Refine your topic.

3. Refine your topic.

Now that you've done some background research, it's time to refine your topic and make it more specific. Remember: the shorter your final paper, the narrower your topic needs to be. Here are some suggestions for narrowing and refining your topic:

  • Is there a specific subset of the topic you can focus on?
  • Is there a cause and effect relationship you can explore?
  • Can you focus on a specific time period or group of people?

Describe and develop your topic. Try filling in the blanks in the following sentence, as much as you can:

I want to research

____(what/who) and ____(what/who)

to find out ____(question you'd like to answer).

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