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Aviation & Technology

A Guide to Aviation & Technology

Start Your Research (DIY), Writing Assignments, Technical Writing

Topics, Search, Evaluate

Where to find ideas for topics

  • Class discussions or readings
  • Presentations at relevant conferences
  • Articles in discipline related journals
  • Relevant current events

Why should I start with Background Information?

  • Familiarize yourself with the topic by looking at the "big picture"
  • Find possibilities for a specific area within the topic
  • Identify different views on the topic
  • Identify experts within the topic


Where do I find background information?

Gale Virtual Reference Library  Find scholarly encyclopedia entries to gather information about a broad topic.

SJSU Library Catalog Use the Library Catalog - OneSearch to find books with introductory content about your topic.

Wikipedia Find an overview of a topic in Wikipedia. Do NOT use as a resource in your research paper.

Limit or Expand Your Search

  • Place quotes around phrases to keep the words together during your search. For example, "data management system"

  • Add an asterick to pull in more words (truncation). Enter as many letters as possible before the truncation. Example: system* matches system, systems, systematic, systemize

  • If you get too many results, try adding another keyword (concept).

These sites can help you evaluate the accuracy, reliability, and currency of information in general, and Internet information in particular.