The beginning of the research process is critical. In this module, you will learn how to successfully define a topic that is both right for your research assignment and right for you. This will save you time, and make the rest of the research process much easier. A lot of students get anxious when they are left to choose a topic with little guidance. Think about research topics that you have selected for previous papers and how they have turned out. Think about anxieties, concerns, or eagerness you have experienced in this beginning stage of research. Write a discussion post reflecting on this. LINK TO DISCUSSION.
By the end of this module you will know how to:
- Select a research topic that is interesting to you
- Narrow a research topic so that it is appropriate for your assignment
- Create research questions based on your research topic
“What is more important in a library than anything else - than everything else - is the fact that it exists.”
~Archibald MacLeish, "The Premise of Meaning," American Scholar, 5 June 1972
- A CQ Researcher report related to your topic. You will be asked to make a selection after the module’s lecture
For this module, you will need to complete the following activities
- Lecture on focusing your topic
- Brainstorming worksheet
- Concept Mapping Video
- CQ Researcher Video & Assignment
- Narrowing Your Topic Tutorial
2.5 Lecture on focusing your topic
Camtasia video lecture
2.6 Brainstorming worksheet
Worksheet - Brainstorming for Narrowing a Research Topic
2.7 Concept mapping video
Concept Mapping: How to Start Your Term Paper Research
This is a great video created by Douglas College Library that demonstrates concept mapping for developing a research topic. The broad topic in the demonstration is “college success.” Consider doing something similar using the subject you have selected for this course. It’s a great method for thinking about various aspects of a broad topic, and ultimately coming up with a research topic appropriate for your assignment. The video goes into keyword development at the end, which is good to keep in mind as we will be discussing this in the next module.
2.8 CQ Researcher Video & Assignment
In this section you will practice reviewing what is out there as a method for narrowing down your topic. We will be looking at a database the library subscribes to called CQ Researcher Plus Archive.
Camtasia video on how to browse CQ Researcher
Logging in with CatCard
2.9 Narrowing Your Topic by looking at Certain Aspects
In the following tutorial, you will practice narrowing down your topic but looking at certain aspects of that topic.
Narrow Your Topic Pyramid
2.10 Directions for Discussion - Focused Research Questions