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South Pointe Christian School  

A guide for Mrs. Winstead's English Research Paper.
Last Updated: Mar 11, 2015 URL: http://libguides.wingate.edu/spc/winstead Print Guide RSS Updates

Finding Background Information Print Page
  Search: 
 
 
 

Step 1: Basic Search Terms from Research Question

Good reaserch question but BAD search:

How did the teachings of Transcendentalism and Puritanism influence the life and writing of Nathaniel Hawthorne as evidenced in The Scarlet Letter?

Find important words and refine ambiguous terms:

How did the teachings of Transcendentalism and Puritanism influence the life and writing of Nathaniel Hawthorne as evidenced in The Scarlet Letter?     

Good Search Terms:

Transcendentalism, Puritanism, Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

 

 

Step 2: Get Background Information

Encyclopedias

  • Overview   -   Gain a broad understanding of your topic
  • Definitions - Be an informed reader
  • Notable Names - Know the major players
  • Dates & Events - Contextualize your topic
  • Bibliographies - Fish those citations!

 General Encyclopedias

 Use Fetch to find online encyclopedia entries aka Research Starters for your search terms: TRANSCENDENTALISM

Subject Specific Encyclopedias

  • Extensive;scholarly - Gain a more in-depth understanding of your topic
 

Step 3: Gather More Search Terms

Build a list of keywords and synonyms

 

Trancendentalism • Dark Romanticism •Self-Transcendence

American Literature • Transcendentalism in Literature • Faith • Religion

Natural Philosophy • Self-Realization Tradition


New England • Cultural Movement • Romantic Movement

 

Research Tip: Use a Concept Map to Brainstorm


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