This series of tutorials is useful for any new student preparing to start a research project.
From Assignment to Research Question
Go to the Tutorial
Note:The tutorial contains embedded videos with audio and is best viewed in full-screen mode.
After viewing the tutorial, you will know how to:
- Choose a topic based on assignment requirements
- Conduct preliminary research to gather background information
- Brainstorm your way to a research question
- Narrow a topic to match the scope of the research project
Why do I need to research before I research?
It is difficult to develop an interesting and complex research question on a topic without conducting preliminary research. Start with your own experiences and personal interests. BUT before you search for sources to actually cite in your paper, read background information on your topic. This will help you refine your focus and discover terminology researchers use to describe your topic.
Useful source formats for background information on a research topic:
- News articles
- Subject encyclopedias
- Scholarly monographs (books)
- College textbooks
- Course readings
A couple of tips when you begin to explore a topic:
- Be open minded as you explore your topic; your research will likely take you in directions you were not expecting.
- Keep a research log to keep track of your ideas and your research - what you discover and how you found it.
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Content Editor: Nancy Bellafante
Last Updated: 01/23/2014