Library Sources & Research Papers Vincent P. Tinerella
The Research Process Ten Basic Steps
Select a Topic health Term Paper Topics
Empire State Building
Gender Issues Health Care
Holocaust Immigration Islam
Science A topic is general. It is a category, frequently expressed in a single word or phrase, such as “alcoholism" or “teenage mothers.” A topic is a good starting point, but by itself, it is usually too broad, and so it must be refined. Technology Politics Religion Business
Ask Yourself Questions About Your Topic:
Is the topic of interest to me?
Is my topic appropriate for my audience? Is it relevant to my course?
How much or how little do I know about it?
FORMULATE A RESEARCH QUESTION 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. 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. Choose a RQ worth arguing about or exploring (So what?).
Evidence Find evidence to support your research question
Types of Evidence
Sources Data or information that has not been analyzed or evaluated Data that has been analyzed Primary Sources Secondary Sources books articles reviews textbooks bibliographies Web sites census data laws diaries speeches autobiographies tech reports transcripts e-mail musical scores letters
Tools of the Trade
(To narrow and refine topic)
Narrow by Viewpoint ResearchQuestion Viewpoint Limiters Topic What is the constitutionality of Internet filtering technology in public libraries? Teen Pregnancy
Narrow by Population Topic Research Question Eating Disorders What new therapeutic options are available to Bulimia in teenage girls? Population Limiters Age, Gender, Nationality, Species, Group
Research Question Topic What new developments in vitamin therapy will help prevent heart disease? Narrow by Time Century date Current Trends Vitamins Year Decade Future
Narrow by Place PLACE LIMITERS
Research Question Topic Fast Food & Obesity Is fast-food to blame for the rising obesity rates in the United States?
Limiters Place Time Topic Population Viewpoint Research Question
Topic: Management Narrowed Research Question Limiting Criteria Limiters Viewpoint Management practices to eliminate the glass ceiling “glass ceiling” Place American corporations; Fortune 500 companies U.S. Time Current initiatives? Present Women managers Population Women What current, effective management practices have American Fortune 500 companies initiated to eliminate the “glass ceiling” for their women managers?
AVOID RQ’S THAT ARE:
IT’S EASY TO REMEMBER
The overwhelming majority of scholars and researchers publish their work in academic journals available from subscription bibliographic databases acccessible from the library homepage NOT FREE on the Internet.