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    • 1. N NARROWING A RESEARCH TOPIC <ul><li>Vincent P. Tinerella </li></ul>
    • 2. THE RESEARCH PROCESS <ul><li>Ten basic steps in the research process: </li></ul><ul><li>1. Selecting a Topic </li></ul><ul><li>2. Formulating a Research Question </li></ul><ul><li>3. Identifying main ideas and related terms </li></ul><ul><li>4. Identifying information sources and selecting tools </li></ul><ul><li>5. Gathering background information </li></ul><ul><li>6. Locating and retrieving materials </li></ul><ul><li>7. Determining the relevancy of materials </li></ul><ul><li>8. Organizing information </li></ul><ul><li>9. Writing the paper </li></ul><ul><li>10. Revising the paper </li></ul>
    • 3. SELECT A TOPIC <ul><li>Term Paper Topics </li></ul><ul><li>Abortion </li></ul><ul><li>Affirmative Action </li></ul><ul><li>AIDS </li></ul><ul><li>Animal Rights </li></ul><ul><li>Anthrax </li></ul><ul><li>Assisted Suicide </li></ul><ul><li>Asteroids </li></ul><ul><li>Blackout </li></ul><ul><li>Capital Punishment </li></ul><ul><li>Child Abuse </li></ul><ul><li>Cloning </li></ul><ul><li>Conjoined Twins </li></ul><ul><li>Diabetes </li></ul><ul><li>Drunk Driving </li></ul><ul><li>Easter Island </li></ul><ul><li>Eating Disorders </li></ul><ul><li>E-mail Spam </li></ul><ul><li>Empire State Building </li></ul><ul><li>Global Warming </li></ul><ul><li>Gangs </li></ul><ul><li>Gender Issues Health Care </li></ul><ul><li>Holocaust Immigration Islam </li></ul><ul><li>A topic is general. It is a category, frequently expressed in a single word or phrase, such as “alcoholism&quot; or “teenage mothers.” A topic is a good starting point, but by itself, it is usually too broad, and so it must be refined. </li></ul>
    • 4. <ul><li>Ask Yourself Questions About Your Topic: </li></ul><ul><li>Is the topic of interest to me? </li></ul><ul><li>Is my topic appropriate for my audience? Is it relevant to my course? </li></ul><ul><li>How much or how little do I know about it? </li></ul>
    • 5. FORMULATE A RESEARCH QUESTION <ul><li>The Q the researcher asks that guides his or her inquiry into the topic. A good research question asks a clear, concise question and helps you keep a tight focus on your topic. </li></ul><ul><li>A good RQ is broad enough to allow you to find enough material, but narrow enough to fit within the size and time constraints of your paper. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Choose a RQ worth arguing about or exploring . Your RQ should pass the “So What? Test.” </li></ul></ul>
    • 6. SO WHAT? TEST <ul><li>The RQ must not simply state a fact, but take a compelling stand that will be proven or supported in the research that follows….It should make your reader want to see what you have to say… </li></ul>
    • 7. FROM TOPIC TO RQ
    • 8. Narrow By Viewpoint TOPIC VIEWPOINT LIMITERS RQ Internet Security Cultural, Social, Legal, Medical, Ethical, Biological, Psychological, Economic, Political, or Philosophical aspects What is the constitutionality of Internet filtering technology in public libraries? Vitamins Will a regimen of vitamin therapy prevent heart disease? Cell Phones Should laws be enacted to prevent cell phone use in automobiles?
    • 9. Narrow By Time TOPIC TIME LIMITERS RQ Vitamins Date, Year, Century, Era, Decade, Current, Future, Emerging, Trends What new developments in vitamin therapy will help prevent heart disease? What current internet security measures are public libraries using to protect their patron’s personal information? Internet Security What did fashion design trends in the 1920’s say about American sexual mores? Fashion design
    • 10. Narrow By Place TOPIC PLACE LIMITERS Country, Continent Region, City, State, Place, Organization, Institution RQ Steroids in athletics How prevalent is steroid use among NCAA college baseball players? Obesity Is fast-food to blame for the rising obesity rates in the United States?
    • 11. Narrow By Population TOPIC Eating Disorders POPULATION LIMITERS Age, Gender, Nationality, Species, Group RQ What new therapeutic options are available to Bulimia in teenage girls ? Telecommuting Does telecommuting increase work productivity for stay-at-home mothers ?
    • 12. Put It All Together
    • 13. Topic: Management Limiters Limiting Criteria Narrowed RQ Viewpoint “ glass ceiling” Management practices to eliminate the glass ceiling ? Place US American corporations; Fortune 500 Companies Time Present Current initiatives? Population Women Women Managers What current , effective management practices have American Fortune 500 companies initiated to eliminate the “ glass ceiling” for their women managers ?
    • 14. Ask Yourself Q About Your RQ <ul><li>Does it fit the scope of my assignment? Is it relevant ? </li></ul><ul><li>Can I find and access enough documents, statistics, or persons to provide information to develop and support my ideas? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it an &quot; open-ended &quot; question that can be answered with more than yes, no, or a brief statement of fact? </li></ul><ul><li>Does it pass the “ So What?” test? </li></ul>
    • 15. AVOID RQ’S THAT ARE: <ul><li>TOO BROAD </li></ul><ul><li>TOO NARROW </li></ul><ul><li>UNANSWERABLE </li></ul>
    • 16. IT’S EASY TO REMEMBER <ul><li>WHO </li></ul><ul><li>WHAT </li></ul><ul><li>WHEN </li></ul><ul><li>WHERE </li></ul><ul><li>WHY </li></ul><ul><li>POPULATION </li></ul><ul><li>ASPECT-VIEWPOINT </li></ul><ul><li>TIME </li></ul><ul><li>PLACE </li></ul><ul><li>SO WHAT? ????? </li></ul>
    • 17. Let’s Try IT………………….. <ul><li>Why does the Brunswick Corporation dimple their golf balls? </li></ul><ul><li>Who Cares???.....Does not pass the “So What” test. </li></ul><ul><li>2. Does effective communication increase productivity in the workplace? </li></ul><ul><li>Too broad. Too vague. It does not lead to a position that can be demonstrated, proved, or investigated . </li></ul><ul><li>What influence did the UAW have on Dayton, Ohio’s economy in 1973. </li></ul><ul><li>Too narrow to be investigated and answered in the scope of a college paper. </li></ul><ul><li>4. Is it dangerous to ignore drunk driving laws enacted in Illinois in the past decade? </li></ul><ul><li>Yes. </li></ul><ul><li>5. Does the increasing use of cell phones in automobiles in the U.S. lead to more traffic accidents and contribute to rising insurance rates? </li></ul><ul><li>Good RQ. It invokes a variety of ideas and leads to one of two positions that are researchable: (1) cell phone use in automobiles is dangerous; or (2) it is not . </li></ul><ul><li>Do Eastern Illinois University students that sit in the front and center of their English classrooms get better grades than students who sit in the back and off to the sides? </li></ul><ul><li>A. Unanswerable. Essential data is not available. </li></ul>
    • 18. FINALLY <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> Revise as appropriate </li></ul><ul><li> Educate yourself </li></ul><ul><li> Review the literature </li></ul>

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