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Starting Your Research: Topic/Research Question

Choose a Topic

Find ideas in:

  • Your syllabus
  • Your text
  • Class discussion
  • Your life
  • Current events

Develop a Topic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video: Kansas State University

Find Background Information

Background information helps you: 

  • Start thinking about your topic
  • See the big picture
  • Identify major issues
  • Discover something that interests you

Use quality, professionally produced sources to familiarize yourself with the topic (not just Google and Wikipedia).

Try some of these:

Narrow Your Topic

Consider these questions:

Ask yourself open-ended questions to focus your topic. You don't have to answer all of the questions. Some might not apply or be helpful.

 
Use the five w's: 
  • Who: demographic focus (gender, age, ethnicity, socioeconomic status
  • What: aspects and impacts of the topic (sociological, psychological, economic)     
  • Where: geographic location
  • When: either present day or a particular time period in the past
  • Why/How/So What!: importance, significance (societal, individual)

Quick Help

Not finding what you need? Use the contact information below!

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  Email-A-Librarian:
  librarians@manchester.edu

Research Consultations:
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