Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies

Getting Started

Although you are to select your topic from the second-term lecture topics, there is still quite a bit of latitude in what you can choose.  Consult a reference resource (dictionaries or encyclopedias) to find some background information.  Try these:

Why you should start with reference resources

  1. They are written to give you a quick backgrounder -- to give you the areas of research, some names of researchers, and a timeline
  2. The information is provided in an order that makes sense
  3. They give you the words -- the disciplinary vocabulary -- that you can use to search for other resources such as books and journal articles
  4. Having this background will help you when you are searching for journal articles, to help you decide what the article is about and whether or not it fits into your topic area

Note that if you use these in your paper they must be used IN ADDITION TO the 5 academic sources that you must select.

Focusing your topic

If you are having trouble focusing your topic, read the "From topics to questions" chapter of