2 The Importance of Getting Curious Choose a topic you are curious aboutThis will help to make your essay a successIf you don’t like what you’re writing about, this will most likely show through into your essayCuriosity is a driving force behind your research paperChoose your research topic carefullyIf you have already chosen a topic, and you find yourself losing interest, try approaching it from a different angle.Think Personal Experience“What have I seen or experienced that raises questions that research can help answer?”
3 Interest Inventory Make a List: Places Trends Things Technologies PeopleControversiesHistoryJobsHabitsHobbies
4 Interest InventoryBrainstorm different words or phrases that come to mind when you think about the different categoriesWrite your ideas under each columnReview your listsLook for a single item in any column that seems promisingAsk:Is this something that raises questions that research can help answer?Are they potentially interesting questions?Does this item get at something I’ve always wondered about?
5 Meet Amanda Under her Trends column, Amanda wrote “White Teeth” Some questions she developed were:Are tooth whiteners safe?What makes teeth turn brown?Can teeth get too white?From these questions, Amanda was able to come up with a tentative topic and research question.
6 Other Ways to Find a Topic For Complete List pg. 28 – 29Surf the NetSearch a research databasePay attention to what you’ve read recentlyConsider practical topicsThink about issues, ideas, or materials you’ve encountered in other classesCollaborate
7 What Makes a Question “Researchable”? It’s not too big or too smallIt focuses on some aspect of a topic about which something has been saidIt interests the researcherSome people have a stake in the answerIt implies an approach or various means of answering itIt raises more questions. The answer might not be simple.
8 OrganizationStarting research with a thesis or main point before starting research is efficientIt sets you on a steady path to finding the information you will need to find to use as support in your paperON THE OTHER HANDBeginning with broad questions also has its benefitsBy researching without knowing your thesis statement can help you discover different ideasResearch topics are fluid and can be dictated more by ongoing research than by the original chosen topic
9 Working Knowledge Develop a working knowledge of your topic Working knowledge meaning a broader understanding of the range of your topicHaving a working knowledge will help you become familiar with important aspects of you topic, such as:DefinitionsDebatesExpertsContext
10 Developing Working Knowledge Search General and Subject EncyclopaediasEncyclopedia BritannicaColumbia EncyclopediaEcyclopedia.comSubject Encyclopaedias (list on page 36)Use the Internet Public libraryTry Google ScholarGo to the LIBRARY!!As you are developing your working knowledge, start compiling a bibliography!
11 Narrowing the Subject Begin your research by narrowing a general topic If a topic is too large you will find that the information available is overwhelmingYou want to create a manageable topic that you can explore in detail
12 Narrowing the SubjectAlmost every subject you will choose to write about for this class and for this paper has been written about beforeTry to find a unique angle on a familiar topicTake a closer look at some aspect of a larger subjectTips to Narrow:Time – Limit the time frame of your projectPlace – Anchor a larger subject to a particular placePerson – Use the particulars of a person to reveal generalities about a groupStory – Ground a larger story in the specifics of a “smaller” one
13 Potential Topic: Global Warming 1.Time: Climate Change in the next 50 Years2. Place: Climate Change in Canada3. Person: Al Gore4. Story: Climate Change andPolar Bears
14 Narrowing the Subject Cont… If you are unsure how to specify what you’re seeking, ask yourself:“who?”, “what?”, “where?”, “when?”, “why?”, or “how?”
15 Crafting Your Research Question Choose the type of question you want to answer:A sense-making question arises when we are searching for an explanationA hypothesis-testing question tests our assumptions about what we believe to be trueA relationship-analyzing question has to do with figuring out cause and effect relationships as well as comparisons
16 Purpose for a Research Assignment To Explore (a.k.a. Academic Inquiry)You pose the research question because you want to uncover the answerYou want to write about what you believe is the best answer to the question you’ve posedExploratory essays often begin with sense-making or relationship-analyzing questions
17 Purpose for a Research Assignment To Argue (State a Convincing Claim)You believe you already have the answer to your research question (i.e. you have a hypothesis you want to test by looking at the evidence)When you are convinced your hypothesis is correct, you will argue your claimYour purpose is to state a central claim and make it convincing in order to influence what your readers think
18 Reading for Research The best readers are guided by purpose: They know why they are reading something and what they hope to get from itWhen reading for research you should:Know what type of text you are readingKnow where to look for what you need to knowGain prior knowledge of the topic you are reading about
19 Reading Rhetoricallywat up? how r u doin 2day? wanna meet at the mall l8r? c u in a bit lol vsStructural symbolic interactionism understands the creation of self and identity to occur within existing social structures (Burke)There are fundamental differences between these types of texts, and how we read them should be different too.
20 Reading Rhetorically Reading strategies: Have a working knowledge Know your purposeUnderstand the article’sorganizationUse a highlighterMake notes in the marginsRead and Reread
21 When writing your research paper, remember: Example in TextTo see an example of how to focus your paper, look at page 44 in your textWhen writing your research paper, remember:
22 For next week: Remember that there will be a quiz next week Make sure that you have a copy of the handout for the Theater ReviewTheater ReviewMust contain two full pages of good writingMust contain research about the author and the play