An Information Gap is the space between what you currently know and the information you need to answer your question or write your paper. An effective search strategy will help you bridge that information gap on a concise topic and with the right number of resources. The first step in bridging that information gap is to determine your research topic. For many students new to research, this can be a daunting task. A practical method to identify your research topic and key concept is to:
Perhaps at this point you may need to learn a bit more about your topic before you really begin your research. Reading encyclopedias and other general resources can be a great way to obtain an overview of your subject, definitions of key terms, timeline of important events, and a basic entree into the theories, debates, applications, and knowledge gaps of your topic. As you read, be sure to write down any new terms or concepts that you may find. These key terms and concepts will become the building blocks of your search.