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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:
A general reference collection of over 900 titles covering every major subject. Topic pages gather articles from multiple texts and provide links to other library resources.
Complete text of the encyclopedia plus links to other online resources.
Narrow Your Topic
Consider these questions:
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)
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