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Find Your Topic 1.Brainstorm a topic for research 2.Turn it into a research question 3.Broaden and narrow your question 4.Find keywords related to your.

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Presentation on theme: "Find Your Topic 1.Brainstorm a topic for research 2.Turn it into a research question 3.Broaden and narrow your question 4.Find keywords related to your."— Presentation transcript:

1 Find Your Topic 1.Brainstorm a topic for research 2.Turn it into a research question 3.Broaden and narrow your question 4.Find keywords related to your topic 5.Use a concept map to refine your topic

2 Brainstorm a topic for research If your instructor does not assign a specific topic, what do you do?

3 Examples Turn on the news Read today’s newspaper Choose a favorite activity Consider current issues on campus Ideas are all around us….all we have to do is look

4 Which would not be the best way to select a topic? 1.Read The New York Times. 2.Research trends in fitness. (You love the gym!) 3.Buy a topic from Ebay. 4.Research if gamers make better students. (You are a pro at WarCraft.)

5 Great ways to find a topic Choose a current event Choose a topic of interest Browse magazines and books Choose a topic about a major or career Ask a Librarian for ideas

6 Turn it into a research question What do you want to know? What is your focus? Asking a question helps you decide which information will be useful to you.

7 If your topic is global warming, possible research questions might be: How have polar ice caps been affected by climate change? What impact has global warming had on natural disasters? How has celebrity environmental activism raised awareness of energy consumption in the U.S?

8 A clear open-ended question calls for real research and thinking. Research questions should not be closed- ended or answerable with a “yes” or “no.” Does smoking cause cancer? Research questions are not the same as reference questions. What percent of lung cancer is related to smoking?

9 Which is not a research question? 1.How has the Internet affected the profitability of the music industry? 2.Does Censorship exist? 3.How have rap lyrics impacted the feminist movement? 4.How has today’s popular music influenced social change?

10 Broaden and narrow your question Not too broad, Not too narrow, But just right. Your research question should allow you to retrieve just the right amount of information.

11 Broadening a Research Question A question that is too narrow or specific may not retrieve enough information. If this happens, broaden the question. INSTEAD OF Should mountain top removal be permitted in Hazard, Kentucky despite endangered species laws protecting the flying squirrel? TRY What are the effects of coal mining on wildlife in the Appalachian Mountains?

12 Narrowing a research question A question that is too broad may retrieve too much information. Try to narrow your topic with one of these strategies: Time - 20 th century 1980’s Place - North America Canada Population – American Baby Boomers Viewpoint – General Medical

13 Examples of Broad → Narrow Car → Chevrolet → Corvette United States → Kentucky → Covington 21 st Century → 2001 → September 11,2001 Conservative → Republican → Rush Limbaugh

14 What should you do first when you find too much information? 1.Broaden your research question 2.Narrow your research question 3.Change your topic 4.Only use the first few results

15 Find keywords related to your topic Once you have your research question, you will want to pull out relevant keywords in order to search for your topic in databases. It doesn’t work to put your whole question into the search box.

16 Choosing Keywords When choosing keywords from your question choose the words that cover your main points. What impact has global warming had on natural disasters?

17 In the following research questions, which one does not have the relevant keywords highlighted? 1.How has the introduction of wolves into Yellowstone in the past 5 years impacted local cattle ranches? 2.How does involvement in clubs and activities contribute to academic success in college? 3.What factors contribute to a higher than average rate of violence among professional athletes? 4.How does texting while driving contribute to teen accidents?

18 Keywords can make all the difference when conducting a search. Make sure you identify the words that are the main points of your research question. Sometimes you’ll have to brainstorm other ways of saying your keywords.

19 If your keywords are violence and professional athletes, you may need to brainstorm possible search terms. For these keywords you might choose : Wrestlers Hockey Chris Benoit Domestic violence Steroids Aggression

20 Which is not a possible keyword for mining? 1.Coal mining 2.Strip mining 3.Oil refineries 4.Surface mining

21 Use a concept map to refine your topic Turn your ideas into a visual representation Organize key words and concepts Great tool for visual learners

22 Tobacco Use Health Economy Culture Government Farmers Retailers Manufacturers Doctors Insurers Second Hand Smoke Alcohol Media Regulation Taxes

23 A concept map can help you: 1.Find your way around campus 2.Locate attractions in Disney World 3.Visualize related key terms and concepts 4.Get more dates on Friday nights 5.Stalk and capture the elusive Kentucky Flying Squirrel

24 Create your own concept map!

25 How can you “Ask a Librarian”? 1.IM 2. 3.Phone 4.Information Desk 5.Research Consultation

26 Ask a Librarian


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