Begin with a basic idea of your topic then look for information to help you narrow down the topic, focus on specific concepts, and generate keywords for your searches. In this part of the process you're browsing and doing a little reading to get familiar with the topic and generate ideas.
You can start with a basic source like Wikipedia to get definitions and background info. Popular sources such as newspapers or magazines provide general information on current issues. Books are also helpful for background reading, even scanning the table of contents can help you learn about your topic.
Once you have some background information you can begin searching for scholarly articles to add depth to your description and analysis of your topic.
It's easy to believe that your searching will turn up articles that directly address your topic in detail. Really, you'll need to look at many articles and piece together information from each one. Gather more than you'll need. Review the articles, then choose the ones that will help you write.
It may be tempting to think....Isn't everything on the internet? Can't I just use Google and Wikipedia for my research?
While Google, Wikipedia, and other internet sources can be useful, you don't want to rely on them for your research. Why not?
Is it ever okay to use Google or Wikipedia?