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Beginning Monday, March 23, Hoover Library will be CLOSED until further notice. Virtual reference services (use the "ASK US" or "CHAT" button) will be available from 1 PM - 9 PM Sunday, 9 AM - 9 PM Monday-Thursday, and 9 AM - 4 PM Friday. Hours are subject to change at any time. Please see our Hours page for current building availability. For more information, see the McDaniel College COVID-19 Information Page
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SIS 2038: Monsters Medieval Style: Developing Your Topic

Steps in a Nutshell

  • Choose or identify your topic
  • State your topic as a research question
  • Explore your topic and learn more about it
  • Identify the key concepts
  • Develop a list of keywords and alternative terms

Useful Tools for Exploring a Topic and Search Terms

Topic to Research Question

Topic: basilisks in medieval literature

Ask questions:  who, what, when, where, why, how


what: basilisks, cockatrices

where: England

when: Medieval England, Middle Ages, Renaissance



State topic as a question: How have basilisks been depicted throughout literature?


Finding Keywords & Alternative Terms

How to do it – use an encyclopedia, thesaurus, your textbook, a general database, or the online catalog to find terms and basic info like dates, place names, etc.

Canadian:  Canada, Ontario, Quebec (provinces in Canada)

women:  woman, females, wives, mothers, girls

world war 1:  also known as the first world war or the great war

world war 2: also known as the second world war

role:  purpose, activity, office, function, position, service (from online thesaurus)

role:  role expectation,  role theory, social role, women’s roles (from Academic Search Complete Subject Terms)

role:  social role (from subject browse search in online catalog)