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D. Hiden Ramsey Library, University of North Carolina at Asheville

Food Studies: GETTING STARTED

BEGIN BY EXPLORING

BEGIN BY EXPLORING.
FIND BACKGROUND INFORMATION IN GENERAL AND SPECIALIZED ENCYCLOPEDIAS.

Read encyclopedia and/or news articles about an topic that interests you. Use these articles to get to know your topic generally. 

As you read, consider how to customize your topic. What aspect would you like to explore? You might think about it in terms of time and events, social conditions and culture, geography, etc.

What questions need to be answered? What kinds of information will you need and where can you find them? What keywords will you use use to search for resources? 

If your research contradicts your initial question, consider including diverse viewpoints to make your research stronger. Always let the research dictate your topic, rather than let the topic dictate your research.

For Encyclopedias-style reference sources we recommend 'Credo Reference,' 'Oxford Reference Online Premium,' and 'Gale Virtual Reference Library' in the list below. 

Reference Databases

TIPS

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A good topic is: broad enough to find information about, focused enough that the information isn't overwhelming, and interesting to you!

Read your assignment carefully. Highlight guidelines and requirements.

Encyclopedias are great starting points, but generally should not be used as scholarly sources.

Save yourself some searching, and look for resource lists at the end of encyclopedia entries.

Reference