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Quick Tips on Preparing for Research

Before you start:

  • understand the key terms you may be using as well as the general area that interests you;
  • think about ways to narrow your topic, making it as specific as possible (unless you have been given a specific topic to research!);
  • create a thesis statement;
  • list  the main concepts (key words) included in your thesis statement (research question), then based on your readings;
  • find as many synonyms as you can for each main concept. You are now ready to start searching in the library's catalogue and databases.

When you are looking for definitions or if you don’t know much about a specific subject, reference works such as dictionaries and encyclopedias become invaluable because they contain relatively short—and understandable—articles. These articles often lay out the parameters of a subject and can assist you in trying to narrow your topic. Often such articles are accompanied by lists of readings (bibliographies) which allow you to explore your topic further.

Dictionaries, encyclopedias and guides

Some sources that may be useful for quick review of terminology related to midwifery practice (treatments, conditions, techniques, pharmaceuticals etc.)

These can also serve as a useful starting point for your research. When you look up part of your broad topic idea, its definition might suggest related topics, or sub-topics, which can suggest how you might narrow or focus your topic or clarify your research question or thesis.

NOTE: Any of the above with "Reference" listed as the "Shelving location" are items which generally cannot be checked out/ do not leave the Library (except with special permission from the midwifery Librarian, or any other Librarian.)