This page will provide help with conducting college level research through the UW-Madison Libraries website.
Choose a Search Type
Choose or Narrow Your Topic
- Whenever given a choice, pick a topic that sparks your interest.
- Search for background information before you commit to a topic. Browsing websites or books can help you learn more about potential topics, like what words to use in future searches.
- Some topics are too broad for a particular research assignment. As you explore, look for specific subtopics that are interesting to you. For instance, the topic of climate change is too broad, but you can focus on a specific part such as the effect of climate change on hurricane severity or polar bear populations.
- Remember to adjust or refocus your topic as you research.
Choose the Right Sources
- Find out how many and what type of sources you need by looking at your assignment, syllabus, or by asking your professor.
- Determine the types of information you need to support your assignment: Research is found in scholarly articles, books provide topic overviews, and newspapers provide journalists reports on current events and research.