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CMS1000 Understanding your Research Topic
Transcript of CMS1000 Understanding your Research Topic
sounds like a no-brainer, but many students receive poor grades on papers because they fail to follow instructions and do not meet the assignment requirements.
Questions to ask:
I read it, but I don't understand the assignment!
hey, down here!...
if you have questions,
ask your instructor to clarify.
Now watch this
Can I just search Wikipedia?
now watch this
Start with Web sources, but then take it to the next level, and use the Library's catalog to find more in-depth overviews on your topic.
You're stepping on my hand.
Now Watch This
From Day 1 - Keep a running diary of your ideas for your research paper along with your research activities - search techniques, tools, & sources.
Appropriate in scope
About your topic
Identify its parts
Describe its characteristics
In The Craft of Research, (Booth, Wayne, Colomb, Gregory and Joseph Williams. University of Chicago Press, 1995, p.39-41
for thinking up research questions
Examine its value
Trace its history & changes
Can you answer the question with evidence?
Can you access the sources you need to answer the question?
Is the question difficult to answer?
questions work well.
Is the answer to the question debatable?
Good papers develop an argument (Thesis).
Can you research the topic within the assignment's time frame?
Can you adequately explore the question within the assignment's page limit?
It will save you time and frustration...trust me!
List of e-reference materials
Oxford Reference Online
Now Watch This...
CSUSonomaLibrary. "Deciphering Your Research Assignment." YouTube. Web. 3 Aug. 2011.
by population group
by methodology or discipline
by time frame
by geographic location
Topic too broad?
Limit your scope
[Government censorship of blogs
[romantic couples text messaging behavior &
[Breakfast eating habits of
male high school students]
[Fear appeal and US magazine advertising
in the 1950s]
CSUSonomaLibrary. "Brainstorm." YouTube. Web. 9 Aug. 2011.
Drexel Libraries. "Library Catalog Searching" YouTube. Web. 7 Sept. 2011.