FMD/WGS 280: Developing a Topic

A guide for doing research in FMD/WGS 280: Queer Fashion URL:

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Developing a Topic

  • Once you have a general topic (for example, queer person of color dandyism), often the key to narrowing it down is exploring and evaluating the sources (books, articles, etc.) you find as you begin your research. It can be difficult to know the scope of your potential topic until you've searched enough to have an idea of what is already out there. This is normal.
  • Try starting your research by searching in Smart Search. For the topic above, the search will include the keywords queer, black, dandyism, and fashion.
  • You might also change your keywords as you search and discover terminology and related concepts. This is an essential part of the research process. Notice how the initial topic and the keywords suggested differ slightly.

To get started searching with recommended resources for your course, including Smart Search, see the next tab, Finding Sources.

TIP: In addition to reading any abstract or summary, look at the subjects of related sources to get an idea of other keywords, concepts, and subjects. Are they related? If so, they can help you further narrow your topic. These are also often hyperlinked, so you can click on them to find other related materials.

A Smart Search example of a related ebook found using the topic and keywords above is below:

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