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PHIL 1320: Ethics and Society: Background Info

This guide was created for Jonathan Lollar's PHIL 1320 class.

Tips for Success

Gathering background information, getting a general overview, and building context for your topic are some of the first steps to doing research. You may also pick up related terms, concepts, and synonyms you can use in your searching.

Some good places to look for background information are:

  • Encyclopedias
  • Basic books (handbooks, possibly textbooks)
  • Web sites
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines

The Research Process

The Research Process takes you through picking a topic, conducting background research, selecting keywords, creating a search string, refining your topic, searching for resources, evaluating sources, writing your paper, and citing your sources.

Researching is often messy and non-linear, which is okay!  If at any point you need help, ask a librarian.

Picking your topic IS research!

Browse for Topic Ideas & Become Familiar with Your Topic

The following databases focus on current issues and trends in various disciplines. They usually provide information such as current situation of the topic, chronology, and opposing viewpoints. They are helpful when beginning to research a topic that you are not familiar with or if you want to know more about what both sides are saying.   Sometimes, the articles are on broad topics, but may still be helpful in gaining context regarding issues.

Reference Resources