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Step-by-Step Guide & Research Rescue: China

This guide will help you understand how to efficiently and effectively do basic research.

Step 1. Locate China Background Information

This guide leads you through the research process for China topics. For general tips on the research process, click on the Basic Research Strategy tab above.

Related Subject Guide - Asian Studies and Chinese Studies


For Specialized print encyclopedias, use the Social Sciences/Education Reference collection, Level 1, Humanities Reference Collection, Level 5, and the Science Reference Collection, Level 2.

  • Berkshire Encyclopedia of China: Modern and Historic Views of the World's Newest and Oldest Global Power(Soc Sci Ref DS 735 .A2 B47 2009)
  • Chinese Herbal Patent Medicines : The Clinical Desk Reference(Sci Ref RM 666 .H33 F728 2001)
  • Encyclopedia of China(Soc Sci Ref DS 705 .P47 1999)
  • Encyclopedia of Chinese Philosophy(Hum Ref B 126 .E496 2003)
  • Encyclopedia of Modern Asia (Soc Sci Ref DS 4 .L48 2002) - available online through Gale Virtual Reference Library
  • Encyclopedia of Chinese Film (Hum Ref PN 1993.5 .C4 Z53 1998) - available online through ebrary; to access use the Books & Moresearch.
  • Martial Arts of the World: An Encyclopedia (Soc Sci Ref GV 1101 .M29 2001)

For Specialized online encyclopedias, use the following databases. For subject specific background resources, use the Asian Studies Subject Guide or Chinese Studies Research Guide.

Steps 4 & 5: Evaluating Research Materials & Writing Your Paper

For tips on Evaluating Research Materials & Writing Your Paper, click on the Basic Research Strategy tab above.

Step 2. Develop & Narrow Your Topic

After reading Background Resources, you should be able to fill out the following "From Topic to Research Focus" formula.  NOTE: This is NOT the same as your Thesis Statement.  Your Thesis Statement is developed after you read Research Materials about your issue/question, determine your stance, and decide how you will present your attitude/angle/argument. For examples of how to use the "From Topic to Research Focus" rubric, click on the Develop and Narrow Topic tab at the top of this page.

1)  I am researching ______________________________________ (topic)
2)  because I want to find out _______________________________  (issue/question)
3)  in order to ____________________________________________ (application)

Organize your Research Focus into concepts: identify terms, think of synonyms, and organize them using this chart.

(Concept 1) _______________ OR ______________ OR ______________ (Synonyms for Concept 1)

AND (Concept 2) ___________ OR ______________ OR ______________ (Synonyms for Concept 2)

AND (Concept 3) ___________ OR ______________ OR ______________ (Synonyms for Concept 3)

Step 3. Find Research Materials for China topics

For Books use the Books & More search to find specific titles from the bibliographies you noted above. Use the Books & More - Advanced Search to find additional books on your issue question. Referring back to the concept chart above, enter your keyword search, one concept for each box.

For Articles use the Articles & More - Advanced Search selecting Collection: History & Geography and Social Sciences. Referring back to the concept chart above, enter your keyword search, one concept for each box. Click Go to begin the search. Click on the title of the article to read the abstract. Click the Full Text Available and Check for Full Text to view the entire article.

To retrieve additional articles, connect to the databases linked below, or select them from Databases A-Z in the Databases & Journals box on the Library Home Page. Depending on how you have narrowed your subject, other databases listed on the Asian Studies Subject Guide or the Chinese Studies Subject Guidemay also be appropriate.