Books in the Library
Dictionaries & Encyclopedias
Local Library Systems
Define Key Terms of your topic for understanding.
You want to make sure you understand the key terms, phrases, and concepts regarding your topic so that you can build a research strategy. Besides the obvious print materials you may find in the library (see box to the left), you can consult on online dictionary and/or encyclopedia to get the very basic information about your topic. Do not rely on these materials for the entirety of your research--this is just the beginning of the research process.
McCarthyism definition from Oxford English Dictionary:
McCarthy came to prominence in February 1950 with his public charge that 205 communists had infiltrated the U.S. state department. This culminated in spring 1954 in a 36-day televised hearing to investigate supposed subversives in the U.S. army; McCarthy's aggressive interrogation methods at this hearing led to his loss of public support and subsequent removal from office later that year.