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AFST 100: How Rastafari Moved the World

Why Presearch?

Why Presearch?

You may have chosen a topic you already have a lot of familiarity with, but in most cases when doing research you'll choose to write about something you have some interest in--but not a whole lot of background knowledge. Because research IS a pathway to learning more about a topic, this is totally fine and normal, but it also means you have some catching up to do. 

What are the big ideas people are talking about with respect to your topic? What is the historical and social context? Who are the key players? These are all questions that, once answered, can help you focus your topic down to a manageable scope and give you the vocabulary necessary to find and fully comprehend the wealth of research contained in the W&M Libraries databases.

Here are some resources that can help you build up your background knowledge:

Background Resources

Books

Books, found through the library catalog, may be highly specific - but they might also be more geared toward sharing topic overviews. 

Reference Sources

These general research tools (like encyclopedias) provide a birds-eye view of various topics.

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Choosing your topic IS research!