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Seminar fourresearchtopics205


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Seminar fourresearchtopics205

  1. 1. Basic Research Methods: Starting your Research ProjectsProfessor Donna GitterIDH 4001H (Seminar 4): Shaping theFuture of New York City, Spring 2013ITF: Amanda Favia
  2. 2. 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.
  3. 3. 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.
  4. 4. 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.
  5. 5. 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 .
  6. 6. Choosing a Topic: Research Question Question & answer something you want to share Show others that it’s something worth sharing & knowing Guides your research
  7. 7. 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?
  8. 8. 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…
  9. 9. 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?
  10. 10. 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
  11. 11. TQS Method & Narrowing your Topic: Example:  Topic: Barclays Center  Question: “How does the Barclays Center impact the local economy of downtown Brooklyn?”
  12. 12. 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?
  13. 13. Narrowing the Topic: Another way to narrow your topic is to consider the subject through the framework of a certain time, place, or population.
  14. 14. 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…
  15. 15. 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
  16. 16. CORE of an Argument Claim: What’s the answer to your question? Reason: Why should I believe that? Evidence: How do you know that?
  17. 17. Counter-Arguments Acknowledgement and Response: But what about this other view?
  18. 18. Arguments & Developing your Topic As you hone in on your argument, you can also help this to focus/guide your research
  19. 19. 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!
  20. 20. Concluding Remarks Don’t be afraid to ask for help!Email: amanda.favia@macaulay.cuny.eduOffice Hours:On-Campus: Tuesdays,11-3pm, 17 LexingtonAve, Weinstein Honors Lounge, Room 903Online: Wednesday, 8pm-10pm via gchat
  21. 21. ResourcesTurabian, Chapter 1 “What Researchers Do”Purdue University Online Writing Lab 3/UNC Writing Center html
  22. 22. ResourcesTexas A & M University Writing Center drafting/selecting-a-topic/Southwestern University Library Center support/refining-topic.htmlWebster University Writing Center