Keep track of
Keywords are the main terms that describe your research question or topic.
You can never be sure of what you may find. You may find too much and need to narrow your focus, or too little and need to broaden your focus. This is a normal part of the research process. When researching, you may not wish to change your topic, but you may decide that some other aspect of the topic is more interesting or manageable.
If you are finding too much information, your research topic may be too BROAD.
Broad Topic: Global warming
Narrower Topic: How will climate change impact the sea levels of the coastal United States?
If you are finding too little information, your topic may be too NARROW.
Narrow Topic: Does cartoon viewing cause aggression in children under age seven?
Broader: What are the negative effects of TV on children?
Once you have refined your topic, the next step is to formulate a research question.
Your research question should be focused and specific. The question should allow for two or more possible answers. See examples below:
There are many different types of information sources that can be useful for your research. See the different types available at the LETU Library.
The chart below lists some common sources with example to help you evaluate and select the best sources for your research project.
A critical step in the research process is evaluating the information you found. It is important to select information that comes from a reputable source. Scholarly resources should be used in academic writing.
Below are questions to ask yourself when evaluating books, magazines and websites.
Writing research papers can be very challenging. Knowing how to take notes and paraphrase ideas can help. The following resources can help you develop writing skills that will greatly influence your success in academic writing:
Watch the following video tutorials from Atomic Learning.
Try the resources below to help you generate ideas for possible research topics: