This worksheet will walk you through the process of refining your research question through background research. Please complete the worksheet before completing the ENGL 1010/1011 Online Library Instruction module.
EXAMPLE TOPIC: How technology impacts college students' lives
Informs perspectives or choices by synthesizing and comparing information about topic(s).
|Example: Which social media technology has the largest impact on college student personal relationships?|
Explores solutions or perspectives to particular problems or topics.
|Example: How should we solve the problem of college student using technology like|
Explores solutions, perspectives, and options; can help form hypothesis.
|Example: What if colleges and universities provided free laptops and wifi hotspots to all students?|
Explores ethical, moral, or practical ideas or solutions based on available information.
|Example: Should college student admissions be automated?|
Explores connections and relationships that contribute to a topic or issue.
|Example: Why is there a rise in cheating in online higher education|
Likely, you will only be able to cover one or two perspectives in your assignment (check your professor's requirements.) Once you pick your angle, generate a list of keywords and phrases about your topic that you can use in the library's databases to find high quality sources for your paper.
Here's a short video explaining the process:
Try different keywords.
-Identify the most important 2-4 words from your research question. These are your key concepts.
-For each key concept, make a list of other words/phrases with the same or related meanings. These will be your keywords!
- Use a thesaurus to find synonyms or similar phrases.
- If you don't know enough about your topic, Google your topic to gather more keywords.
Remember: Revise your search strategy! Your search results can be a gold mine of different keywords, phrases, and concepts related to your topic. Try new searches using different language.