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EU Guide: Research Strategies

Taking a little time to consider the aspects of your research topic, can save you hours of frustrating search time. Please consider the following attributes of a complex question.


What are the physical limits of your topic? Which 'Europe' are you investigating-- the Euro area, EFTA, candidate countries, WEU?

Interest Groups

Are there obvious 'lobby groups' involved? Which group of people (or nations, or alliances) is your focus? Is the question more complex? The information that you seek may manifest itself in citizen reaction within countries, or political parties acting on the national or EU stage.

Time Period

Are you concentrating on a particular time period? Is the event or phenomenon so current that scholarly analysis is unlikely? Will you need to set an historical context for your research, or provide an international or global background for the event?


Most scholarly literature is still organized and indexed by academic discipline. Since most research questions have an interdisciplinary component today, it might be wise to start with a broad database covering many disciplines, and then use increasingly more discipline-specific databases or indexes. For example, one might start with EBSCOHost Web, choosing either the Academic, Business, or Health indexes depending on the topic.

Interest Groups
Time Period

Adapted from "Question Analysis and the Learning Cycle" by Cerise Oberman, Research Strategies, v.1, no.1, p.22-30. 1983

Research Guides

Research Paper Strategies

Specifically designed and linked to resources at UF. It does have general applicability for any topic.

Accessing European Union Information

A guide to information on this website of the European Commission Delegation in Washington, as well as on all of the websites of the European Union's institutions and specialized agencies in Europe.


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