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The Craft of Research Ch. 3

Chapter 3
by

Donna Elliott

on 21 February 2016

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Transcript of The Craft of Research Ch. 3

Chapter Three:
From Topics to Questions
Goal:
To ask a question whose answer solves a problem that you can convince readers to care about
#1: Find a Topic

*List Interests
*Google Scholar
*Skim subheadings in a general
bibliography
Focusing a Topic

*Steroids
*Texting While Driving
Add words such as "conflict,"
"contributing," and "developing"
to the topic
The conflict between steroids and sports

The contribution of Texting/Driving to vehicle accidents
FORMULATE QUESTIONS:

HOW and WHY
HOW has the steroid controversy impacted the Olympics and other competitions?

WHY are most high school and college students not tested for steroids?
Why are teens penalized for texting while driving when older people are not?
Explore the History of Your Topic
Fit it into a larger developmental context
Steroids:

When were they first used in sports?
What were some of the earliest controversies?
Internal History:

What are steroids, actually?
How are they used?
What are the benefits?
Inherent dangers?
Structure and Composition:

How does your topic fit into the context of a larger structure or function as part of a larger system?
Besides sports, what are some other uses of steroids?
How is Your Topic Categorized?

Different types? Different uses?
Compare/contrast the types of steroids
C/C the ways they are used/abused
Turn Positives Into Negatives

At what point do the positive benefits of steroid use become overshadowed by its negative aspects?
"What If" Speculations

What if there were no restrictions at all on the use of steroids?

What if there were no restrictions at all on texting and driving?


Research indicates that testing for steroids in professional sports is a widely accepted practice. Should this testing also be extended to athletes involved in high school sports?
Building on Agreement
Evaluate Questions--Find the ones
that make you think about your topic
in a new way
Avoid "settled fact" questions:

Can texting while driving be a distraction?
Can steroid abuse be harmful to one's health?
QUESTION>>>>>SIGNIFICANCE
Address the "So What?" Element
Addressing the "So What" Element
I am trying to learn about_______
because___________.

The "Because" answers the "so what" aspect of the question.

I am studying the influence of steroids on the human body because I want to find out if the benefits of steroid use are outweighed by the negative effects.
If you are interested in this topic, then will really care about discovering the answer.
If you truly care about a topic, that interest shows in your writing and your reader will become involved in your research and, by extension, care more about your findings.
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