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How do I develop a research topic?

Last Updated: Jul 29, 2016  |  183 Views

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As you begin to select and develop a research topic, consider the following questions:

· Think about research questions related to your topic.

· Read background information about your topic.

· Identify main concepts and keywords to describe your topic to use as search terms.

· Use the library’s Research by Subject guides to access WorldCat, databases, and other search tools.

· Refine your topic as needed.

· Ask a librarian for help!


Express your topic in a series of statements or questions. 

Topic example: Violence in the media and its effect on children

  • Questions to consider:
    • Are there research findings to prove a link between media violence and children who view or listen to it?
    • Does the intensity of media violence vary the effects it has on children?
    • Are age and gender related to the link between media violence and children?

Select and list the important concepts of your topic. (e.g. violence, media, children, etc.)

Create a list of search terms or keywords that describe the concepts in your topic. Remember to include synonyms and related words. If you need additional help, stop by the library services desk on the main floor of Bertrand Library, or on the Librarians by Subject page, click your subject area and use the librarian's chat widget to get help.

Answered by Nancy FrazierBookmark and Share

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