1. What do I find interesting about the subject?
2. What do I already know about this topic?
Interesting? Van Gogh
What do I know? Dutch painter, painted "Starry Night"
Interesting? Frank Lloyd Wright
What do I know? American architect, Taliesin, Fallingwater
Talk to an instructor or librarian
Browse through subject specific journals (i.e. Art History, Art Bulletin, Burlington Magazine, Architectural Record)
1. What do you want to know more about in regards to your topic?
2. Are you interested in social, political, economic, gender, religious issues related to your topic?
Find a "slant" on your topic
Topic = Van Gogh
Slant 1 = Landscape Painting
Slant 2 = Starry Night
Slant 3 = religion
Topic = Frank Lloyd Wright
Slant 1 = Taliesin
Slant 2 = Falling Water
Slant 3 = Prairie School
1. Use encyclopedias (see list below) to find "quick" information on subject.
2. Use Biographical Dictionaries (see list below) to find "quick" information on artists.
Use this "quick" information to develop a list of "keywords" (Step 4) that will be used to find scholarly resources on your topic.
Contemporary Artists . Detroit: St. James Press, 2001. 2 volumes
Encyclopedia of World Art . New York: McGraw-Hill, 1959-1987. 17 volumes
Encyclopedia of Architecture: Design, Engineering and Construction. New York : Wiley, 1988-1990. 5 volumes
Encyclopedia of American Architecture New York : McGraw-Hill, 1995.
Having learned a little more about your topic and chosen a "slant" within your topic, it is now time to brainstorm some keywords that will help you identify scholarly information in journals and books.
You will use these words by themselves and in combination in the Online Library Catalog to search for books and in article databases to search for articles.
Van Gogh = Topic
Slant = landscape painting
Van Gogh, Vincent
Frank Lloyd Wright = Topic
Slant = Fallingwater
Frank Lloyd Wright
Use the keywords you have compiled and use them to search for books in the Online Library Catalog or articles in online article databases.