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LCC Library

Science: Research Topics in Science

Guide to doing research on science topics using resources in the LCC Library.


This Research Guide is intended to help Lane students use Library resources for assignments in Science courses. Use the tabs at the top of the page to navigate.

Coral reef from NOAA

Photo by Brian Beck. NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program.

Finding a topic

Deciding on a topic for your research can be the hardest part of getting started! Use these databases to browse topics in the sciences.

AccessScience - Topics contains a menu of 20 major areas with dozens of subtopics for each.

SIRS Topics in Environment & Science

GALE Environmental Studies - Browse Issues

Also, ask your instructor or brainstorm with other students in your class to generate ideas. And, of course, ask for help from a Librarian.

Beginning Your Research

Start by brainstorming broad topics of interest based on your course or assignment requirements. Write down your initial topic as a phrase, a sentence, or a question. Use these keywords begin to think "around" your topics by exploring different aspects about your topic:

Main idea words  | Which words represent the main ideas of your topic?

Synonyms | List synonyms of your keywords

Related terms | List important ideas that are related to your keywords

Context | Are there important people, places time periods to help place your topic in context?

Now, you have identified important keywords to use when searching for articles in a research database. You may change your question, or need to narrow your research focus as you go. Use this worksheet to develop relevant keywords and search terms for your topic.

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