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Forming Research Questions

Resources and information on how to form clear, focused, and answerable questions for research

Background Research

Background research is done when we need to understand more about a topic. Conducting background research can help you

  • choose a broad topic for research,
  • gain a deeper understanding of a chosen topic or,
  • identify an area, sub-topic or perspectives of a chosen topic that you want to focus your research question on.

Conducting background research

Books, textbooks and reference resources like dictionaries and encyclopedias are good resources to use when background information is needed. 

Resource Type of information  Location
Book (scholarly) or Textbook  Broad information on topics Search for books and e-books: PRIMO catalog search
Dictionary Definition of words and topics Start here: General Medical Reference Resources
Encyclopedia  Short summaries of topics Start here: General Medical Reference Resources
Internet* Everything Google, Google Scholar, Duck Duck Go, Wikipedia

* The internet is useful in trying to gain understanding of topics however, not all information is trustworthy. Remember to look for references and evaluate all information for credibility and authority.