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The Research Process & Topic Selection and Narrowing

Do you know when a topic is too big? How narrow does your topic have to be for a 5-7 page paper? Find out here! (Adapted from a Prezi by Becky Canovan)

Cara Stone

on 30 September 2011

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Transcript of The Research Process & Topic Selection and Narrowing

Narrowing a topic Social sciences Sociology immigration history of immigration chinese immigrants anti-chinese sentiment chinese exclusion act how did the chinese exclusion act impact future immigration laws? Your doable research question for 7-10 pages!! US West coast You can start big and then narrow your search...like this... ...or, you can start anywhere in that spectrum and narrow as necessary... ...or, you can start by asking a broad research question in any category, and let your research narrow you down to a doable question... illegal immigration Mexican/US border getting across safely sanctuary laws How have sanctuary laws passed at the community level impacted immigration? A doable question for 5-7 pages articles or books articles or books articles or books articles or books What about all the ethnic communities in LA? article about economics of these communities article about retention of language and culture article about isolation and conflict between communities What impact have ethnic communities or enclaves had on language and cultural retention? economics of the larger community? conflict with the city due to isolation? Any one of the 3 would be a doable topic for 5-7 pages. The Research Process Topic Research Question Thesis Statement Annotated Bibliography Outline Paper Draft Review/Revising Final Paper Background Information Research:
Finding articles and books
Finding evidence Find more research ? Find more research ? You get to choose your own topic. Pick something that is interesting to you. What do you already know? What do you want to know? Encyclopedias Web searches General texts It's the question you are trying to answer in your paper. It drives your search. Important way to narrow your topic "What is ____?" is not a good research question... Dig deeper! If it is boring to you, it's probably boring to your professor and to the others who are peer reviewing your work. Read
Spill coffee on
Translate from "fancy scholar language" into "real people speak" ...On print-outs and photo copies only, please! Sort of like your topic sentence. It answers your research question! These two elements are SUPER-important. They form the foundation for your paper. The research question is why you are searching and the thesis statement is what you found that answers the question. Paragraph explaining what the source is, what it is about, and how you will use it to answer your research question. The citations (using correct formatting) of the sources you used. + Do your annotations as you read the article. Look at the main argument & supporting evidence in the articles when writing your annotations. It will help you fill out the details of your outline later. The evidence you find to help you answer your research question and write your thesis is the same evidence you use when writing your paper to support your thesis. Organizing your ideas and evidence (research) into a logical argument & structure. It's the skeleton of your paper. Putting it all together for the first time. Filling out your arguments from your outline. Making it look pretty and make sense to others. You made it! Hallelujah! Letting others review your work (peers, professor). Using their comments and suggestions to improve your paper. At the same time, it's not like you have to live with it for the rest of your life, just for a few weeks. It's only a paper, not a marriage.... The key to a good outline is making it more than just 1 word per line. Use full sentences (and quotes--be sure to cite sources and page numbers). The more work you put into your outline, the easier it will be to write your paper draft! Things to include in your outline:
Full sentences
Quotes with citations
Your argument ...It is the whole point of your paper; you should probably include it... Of course! You're going to use quotes eventually, so why not start out organized (and impress your professor along the way by showing how awesome your sources are). Because your professor doesn't know what you mean by "evidence" or "more here." Research doesn't only happen in the beginning stages. You may have to go back and find more information--It's all part of the process! Just because we put it in this order doesn't mean you have to follow it exactly! Feel free to revise your thesis once you've completed your outline or tweak your research question after your first draft! Cara Stone
Grand View University
Fall 2011 Adapted from a Prezi by Becky Canovan, University of Dubuque Cara Stone
Grand View University
Fall 2011 Adapted from a Prezi by Becky Canovan, University of Dubuque
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