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ENGL 1130 Research Guide: Urban Liveability: Define Your Topic

Define Your Topic

Make a list of terms to use in your searches.  Think about the words, phrases, names of people, and organizations, abbreviations or acronyms that best describe your topic.  Be sure to include some related topics, concepts or ideas. These may be used to help narrow (focus) or broaden (expand) your searches, as required.

Sample Topic:   sustainable transportation

Related Ideas; Broader & Narrower Terms:

urban transportation
transportation planning
urban design
public transit
bike lanes

Use these search terms to identify articles on your topic published in scholarly journals, popular magazines and newspapers.

Books & Background Information

Reference books, such as encyclopedias and handbooks, are good starting points for research. They may be available in print or online, and can help you refine your topic and select words and phrases (search terms) to use in your searches.

Use the Library Catalogue to find books on your topic. Start with a KEYWORD search using words and phrases that describe your topic.

When you find a book that addresses your topic well, make note of the SUBJECTS assigned to it. They will be useful in finding more information on the same topic.