Before you Begin: Know the Assignment
- What type of paper is this? Informative? Argumentative? Research? Creative?
- What question are you trying to answer?
- Is there more than one part to the assignment?
- What length is your final paper supposed to be?
- How many resources are required?
- What types of resources are required?
- When is the assignment due?
- What is your thesis? Unless you are writing a creative paper, you should have a thesis that you are trying to support.
- What are the keywordsin your thesis statement or in the question you are trying to answer? These will become your search terms.
- Example Thesis: "Lunch counter protests pressured business owners to change racist policies."
- Example Keywords: "Lunch counter", Protests, Racist, Policies
- Brainstorm additional search terms by finding words with similar meanings.
- Example 1, Keyword "Lunch counter": restaurant, diner
- Example 2, Keyword "Protests": demonstrations (wider term), sit-ins (more specific term)