By: Claire LaPolt & Faisal
“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it
is the illusion of knowledge.” --Stephen Hawking
-To gather information to answer a
question that solves a problem.
-Research is a solution to solving practical
When beginning the information-seeking
1) What do I know?
2) What do I need to know?
3) How will I find out?
Step 1: State your Topic: I am trying to learn about
Step 2: Add a Question: I am studying X because I want to find
out who/what/where/when/why/how ___________________.
Step 3: Motivate your Question: I am studying LC subject
headings because I want to find out how controlled
Increasing Specificity (i.e. Narrowing Your Topic!)
Topic: “Abortion” -- Meaningful topic or Meaningless
Areas of Inquiry– Name 2 distinct areas of inquiry
surrounding the topic of abortion.
Example: religion, Roe vs. Wade
Using this next diagram, YOU will learn to
develop a research question that is open-ended
and gives meaning to the topic you will be
Lastly- Remember that we can easily slip into biases and assumptions while
Researching and choosing a topic. I.E. “Steroids being synonymous with all
American sports. For that reason we suggest that you define your research topic
With objective data such as clearly defining your question.
Who- Women between 18-45
What= Pregnancy and smoking cessation amongst women between 18-45
And there you are !
Sources: Burkhardt, J. M.,
MacDonald, M. C., & Rathemacher,
A. J. (2010). Teaching information
literacy: 50 standards-based
exercises for college students.
Chicago: American Library