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French & Francophone Studies: Home

A research guide to support French and Francophone Studies.

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Librarian for Interdisciplinary Studies

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Melissa Beuoy

French Dictionary

Tips for Starting Research

The research process can be daunting. Where do you start? Research is an iterative process - research questions may evolve as you conduct a close analysis of a text or dive into the scholarly literature. What is the scholarly conversation going on around your text or topic? What are the themes to address or what lens or framework are you using in your analysis? Here are a few tips and strategies to get started.

  • Brainstorm your topic: what themes are you interested in? What are some keywords/phrases useful to search this topic?
  • Decide what kind of information you're looking for. Different types of sources will offer different perspectives, and you might need to search in different places to discover these different types sources.
    • Books and encyclopedias can offer broad overviews or historical context
    • Scholarly articles can offer a deep analysis of a specific theme
  • Create an outline of your topic. You may need different types of sources for different parts of your project (e.g. an encyclopedia for your Introduction; scholarship for your literature review) and you might need to combine different search terms for different sections of your project.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar searches for scholarly literature in a simple, familiar way. You can search across many disciplines and sources at once to find articles, books, theses, court opinions, and content from academic publishers, professional societies, some academic web sites, and more. See the Google Scholar inclusion guidelines for more about what’s in Google Scholar.