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Gathering Background Information: Planning Your Search

Guide created for The Perch media project.

Steps to Plan Your Search

Before diving into your research, it's important to step back and think about your topic and what you may know already and still need to know. Follow these simple steps to help you be strategic in your research.


Step 1. What are the main concepts or ideas about your topic? Think about main words or phrases about your topic. 

Create a mind map or concept map using word association, like this:

Step 2. Determine what information you need. What are the gaps in your research? What are you missing?


Step 3. Gather background information. You can start with Wikipedia or Credo Reference. As a challenge, use a library tool like one of these top 5 online resources