Start by phrasing your subject or general topic in the form of a question.
Basic Research Methods: Starting your Research ProjectsProfessor Donna GitterIDH 4001H (Seminar 4): Shaping theFuture of New York City, Spring 2013ITF: Amanda Favia
Research Paper What it is: A research paper is the culmination of an involved process of research, critical thinking, source evaluation, organization, and composition. A research paper draws on what others have to say about a topic and engages the sources in order to thoughtfully offer a unique perspective on the issue at hand.
Research Paper What it is: A research paper is a piece of analytical writing, an essay in which you survey what experts know or have said about a topic and then compare or synthesize their thoughts with your own insights.
Analytical Research Papers: The analytical research paper often begins by asking a question (a.k.a. a research question). Such a paper is often an exercise in exploration and evaluation.
Research Paper What it is NOT: It is NOT simply an opinion piece or an expository essay consisting solely of ones interpretation of a text .
Choosing a Topic: Research Question Question & answer something you want to share Show others that it’s something worth sharing & knowing Guides your research
Research Question When you find a topic that seems interesting, write down everything you already know about it. Then ask: - Why is this subject significant? - Who or what is affected by it? - Can I break this topic down into smaller parts? - Can I find scholarly research about this topic?
Developing your Research Question: TQS Method Topic: I am working on the topic of… Question: because I want to find out… Significance: so that I can help others understand…
TQS Method & Your Research Project Use each assignment to help develop and inform your research question Example: Assignment 1 Questions: reflect, synthesize & develop e.g., What kinds of activities are happening here? AND Does the institution seem to function well for its intended purpose?
TQS Method & Narrowing your Topic A common mistake is to pick a topic that is too broad Selecting a topic that’s too large leads to vague generalizations and clichéd ideas Narrow your topic so you can cover it adequately
TQS Method & Narrowing your Topic: Example: Topic: Barclays Center Question: “How does the Barclays Center impact the local economy of downtown Brooklyn?”
Narrowing your Topic: Next, look for resources which provide background information—sources can help narrow the topic. Use the "5 Ws" of journalism to limit your topic based on the background information you have found. Who? What? Where? When? Why?
Narrowing the Topic: Another way to narrow your topic is to consider the subject through the framework of a certain time, place, or population.
Narrowing the Topic:Example: Barclays Center’s impact on the economy(1) narrow that topic by limiting your research to a certain time, such as the 2010-2012(2) further limit that to the local economy of downtown Brooklyn(3) narrow the general “economy” to tourism(4) narrow it to a particular population, such as families, or families with young children, or union members(5) etc…
Remember what a research paper is NOT It is NOT simply an opinion piece or an expository essay consisting solely of ones interpretation of a text So, you need an argument for your topic
CORE of an Argument Claim: What’s the answer to your question? Reason: Why should I believe that? Evidence: How do you know that?
Counter-Arguments Acknowledgement and Response: But what about this other view?
Arguments & Developing your Topic As you hone in on your argument, you can also help this to focus/guide your research
Concluding Remarks Keep in mind that research topics are often fluid and dictated more by your ongoing research than by the original chosen topic. Don’t be afraid to make changes!
Concluding Remarks Don’t be afraid to ask for help!Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgOffice Hours:On-Campus: Tuesdays,11-3pm, 17 LexingtonAve, Weinstein Honors Lounge, Room 903Online: Wednesday, 8pm-10pm via gchat
ResourcesTurabian, Chapter 1 “What Researchers Do”Purdue University Online Writing Labhttp://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/658/0 3/UNC Writing Centerhttp://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/index. html
ResourcesTexas A & M University Writing Centerhttp://writingcenter.tamu.edu/2005/how-to/planning- drafting/selecting-a-topic/Southwestern University Library Centerhttp://www.southwestern.edu/library/research- support/refining-topic.htmlWebster University Writing Centerhttp://www.webster.edu/writingcenter/tips/research.shtml