1. Develop a topic, based on your knowledge or skills, or research:
ex. "Hip hop" and sexual politics
2. Write down some initial ideas on what you know about your topic. It doesn't have to be long, or even very articulate- it can only be some words that you associate with your topic. But you can use ideas from; class readings, news sources, books, experience, etc.
3. Ask yourself basic questions about your topic. The questions may start with;
ex. How are sex and gender roles portrayed by many of hip hop's performers and in their lyrics and media?
4. From those questions, as well as from your readings or knowledge about the topic, develop key words or terms:
Consider: synonymous terms, geographic areas, ethnicities, specific populations, industries, social concepts, etc.
Think broadly and globally
ex. "hip hop", "sex roles", gender, "african american musicians", media, videos, lyrics
4. Use your key words when searching tools such as Library catalogs, databases, or Google or Google Scholar.
5. You may want to get general, background information on your topic if you know very little about it.
ex. Encyclopedias, books, reviews of the literature, etc.
6. Finding sources in various formats on your topic
ex. Electronic sources, printed materials, microforms
7. Current scholarship, including peer-reviewed research on your topic.
8. Finally, do not hesitate to contact Bonnie Ryan .