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Research 101: 1. Develop Your Topic

Key Ideas-- Ideas that change everything.

Scholarship Is A Conversation:  

  • As you begin your research and pick a topic, be aware that you are joining a converation. 

Research As Inquiry:

  • As you research and learn more, you will find yourself asking increasingly complex questions to understand the conversation. (Source: ACRL Standards)

Watch the video below to get prepared. 

Selecting a Topic

Video source: KStateLibraries


Develop Your Research Question

To join the conversation, you'll need to focus on a specific question as described in the video. Here are some steps to help you. 

  • Pick a general topic. 
  • Brainstorm, think about all of the ways, or angles, one can use to look at the topic (for example, science, education, health, etc.)
  • Think of a question.
    • Remember to answer the 4 W's: Whom does it involve, what does it involve, where, and when? 
  • If you need some help thinking of topic ideas, refer to the sheet below titled, "376 Topic Ideas." 
  • You can also print off the Research Question Worksheet below to record your question and your keywords for the next tab. 

Supplemental Material

John Esch Library | Lakeland University | W3718 South Drive | Plymouth, WI 53073 | (920) 565-1038 ext. 2420