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Research Smarter: Information Literacy Skills: Pre-Research

Build essential research skills for college success and lifelong learning.

Understanding the Pre-Research Process

Conducting pre-research is an important step when writing a research paper or completing an assignment that requires research. Conducting pre-research allows you to

  • Determine if your topic is searchable
    • not enough results? broaden your search
    • too many results? narrow your search
  • Learn additional keywords
    • look for synonyms or additional terms related to your topic
  • Get context about your topic
  • Learn more about your topic and find a starting point to your research


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Beginning Research with Wikipedia & Google

Watch this short video to learn about beginning your research with search tools you already know - Google and Wikipedia. Never cite Wikipedia in an academic paper, but use it for pre-research and background information to get familiar with your topic. 

Click the image below to complete the Background Research Tips Tutorial to learn more about conducting background research. 

Screenshot of background research tips tutorial.

Get Started With Library Search Tools for Pre-Research