In the comprehensive approach to research, you begin to explore your initial research question or problem in a systematic fashion, which may, with variations, look something like this:
1. Start with tertiary sources, like subject encyclopedias, to establish context and identify potential primary and secondary (scholarly) sources.
2. Use recommended scholarly sources to identify Library of Congress Subject Headings and indexing terms and then use these to search library catalogs and databases to find a substantial collection of both primary and secondary sources.
3. Immerse yourself in the literature you've found to further refine your research question or problem.
4. Repeat these steps as needed.
Two good databases for your research project in this course are:
After you select the database(s) you wish to search, but BEFORE you begin searching, prepare a list of related terms and concepts.
When you construct your search, you'll want to connect synonyms with the Boolean operator "OR" and different concepts with the Boolean operator "AND." You also can use truncation (the asterisk*) to find all forms and spellings of a word.
Here's an example: