Presentation on theme: "Research Methods. Gathering ideas You can gather topic ideas from: A list of topics assigned by your instructor Textbooks or assigned readings Preliminary."— Presentation transcript:
Gathering ideas You can gather topic ideas from: A list of topics assigned by your instructor Textbooks or assigned readings Preliminary reading in general encyclopedias, newspapers, or magazines Bibliographies in the back of books on your topics Also, many electronic databases provide subject term or topic guide searching
Refine Your Topic From Broad to Narrow Concepts You can narrow your topic by identifying ideas or concepts included in a broader topic. For example, you would like to write a 2-page paper on the topic of violence. But violence is such a large concept that it would be difficult to write an all-encompassing paper. It would be best to narrow this topic down. Narrower topics for the subject violence would be topics such as: violence in the media, domestic violence, or gun control.
Refine your topic Now you try it! Below is a listing of related topics. Please choose the topic that you consider to be the broadest term. Transportation Cars Vehicles Ford Explorer
Refine your topic Now, choose the topic that you consider to be the narrowest term. Plants Flowers Petunias Agriculture
Example: the online catalog or ebook catalog on the library home pageonline catalog If you perform a library catalog search for the topic "violence" you will retrieve the following: Crimes of violence, children and violence, conjugal violence, and other terms. Example: databases, newspapers, and magazine articles If you perform a search for the topic "violence" using the databases Academic Search Premier®, Lexis Nexis, you will retrieve: Over 100,000 articles.
Use Argument Organizer for Sources Once you decide on your topic, the topic should be written as a thesis statement, or short sentence that: Defines the main idea of your paper States what you will describe or prove in your paper Using you argument organizer, you should map out the main ideas of your topic. This can be useful in the search for information. Make a list of keywords related to your topic using: Main ideas Synonyms or words with the same or similar meaning and truncate these words
Develop search terms: Start with one search term, even though your results may be too broad, then Add a second search term with the Boolean Operators AND or OR. AND narrows a search; results are limited to materials that include all of the specified text OR broadens a search; results are materials that include any of the search terms in the text. Even though OR broadens rather than narrows your topic, its use is important especially when attempting to include all aspects of your topic, e.g.: oPhysicians OR Doctors oLawyers OR Attorneys Add additional search terms as needed
General Overview Sources Sources to use for an overview of a topic: General encyclopedias, e.g. Encyclopedia Americana® Specialized encyclopedias, e.g. Encyclopedia of Drama® Specialized dictionaries. e.g. Dictionary of Classical Mythology® General interest periodicals (magazines and newspapers)
Specialized Academic Sources Sources to use for specialized information: Books (search the online catalog for specific titles; browse call number location for related titles) Scholarly journals (journals published for academics or professionals; the library's holdings include print journals and electronic databases with full text) Internet (use caution with this source; you must evaluate Internet sources for credibility, authority, and currency)
Databases EBSCOhost Gale Academic OneFile Gale Biography In Context Gale Literature Resource Center Gale Opposing Viewpoints JSTOR EBSCOhost Gale Academic OneFile Gale Biography In Context Gale Literature Resource Center Gale Opposing Viewpoints JSTOR Scholarly Websites Infomine-scholarly internet resource collection at UC Riverside http://infomine.ucr.edu BC internet subject directories