Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
UMW Libraries
Simpson Library | Special Collections

FSEM 100UU : See the USA!: History of Roadtripping in American Culture: Home


Beginning Your Research

Research is a step-by-step process:

Step 1. Identify Your Topic

  • Read your assignment carefully to make sure you know what you need to do to complete it.
  • Talk to your professor if you are unsure about your topic.
  • Make sure your topic is not too broad or too narrow.
  • Most importantly, pick a topic you find interesting!

Step 2. Obtain Background Material on Your Topic

  • Subject encyclopedias and other reference works can be useful in locating background information.
  • Background on your topic can help you understand and refine your topic and find the best words to use in your searches.

Step 3. Find Books

  • Use the "Search the Catalog" search box on the "Search Quest and the Catalog" tab to look for books in the library's collections.
  • This will include the books on the shelves in Simpson Library as well as thousands of eBooks.

Step 4: Find Articles

  • The library's discovery tool, Quest, allows you to search across many of the library's databases. The "Search Quest and the Catalog" tab has a search box for Quest.

Reference Librarian

Profile Photo
Peter Catlin

Other Useful Guides

Citing Your Sources

  • Don't forget that you will have to cite and document the sources you use.
  • Both the library and the Writing Center can help you in citing resources correctly.

First-Year Seminars 

  • Research guide with additional  FSEM  information.

Historic Preservation