1. State your problem as a question as succinctly as possible.
2. 'Brain dump': Write down what you already know about your topic, including
3. Decide what disciplinary methodologies you plan to use: e.g., sociology, political science, literature, psychology...
4. Fill in the gaps in your knowlege: get background information from specialized encyclopedias or other secondary sources. Wikipedia can sometimes be good here, or Google News.
5. Select the best places/ databases to find information on your topic from the Library's list of databases by subject. You can also use UC Library Search to find articles, books, and other resources.
6. Use nouns from your brain dump as search terms.
7. Evaluate what you find. Change search terms to get closer to what you really want.
8. Refine Your Search Words - Using the information you have gathered, determine if your research words should be narrower or broader. You may need to search basic resources again using your new, focused topics and keywords.
How can you do truly interdisciplinary research, when most research sources are discipline-specific? Most of us learn to do research within a discipline, but you need to become adequate in multiple disciplines for this course.
Find specialized encyclopedias for your disciplines: