For your topic and research questions, start thinking in terms of keywords.
A word cloud is a visual representation of the importance of words in a body of text.Word clouds can also help you find useful keywords for searching.Use a word cloud to determine keywords from your research questions. You can also copy and paste an Abstract or summary from one of your resources to find better keywords.
Have the students copy and paste an article that they discover through a Google search pertaining to their main topic. Let them see keywords emerge in their Wordle picture.
Researching a specific fact if you need to answer a question.
Write a question that narrows your topic to a particular group. Consider the following:Do you want to focus on gender?An age group?An ethnic group?
Assume you are doing research on sickle cell anemia. What aspects of the disease are most interesting to you? What might you want to focus on:The impact the disease has on the lives of children who have sickle cell anemiaThe treatmentWhat research is already being doneExample:What impact does sickle cell anemia have on the lives of people between the ages of 30 and 40, and what treatment is available to them?
Do you want to examine your topic as it exists currently? In a specific time period? In the general past? In the projected future?Sickle Cell Anemia Example:How has the treatment of sickle cell anemia and the quality of life of those with the disease improved over the last 100 years?
Do you want to look at the topic from a global perspective? From a national perspective? From a state perspective? Your community?Do you want to focus your research globally, focus on its impact on a particular country, or look at your own community?
Examine WHY the topic is important: Are you looking for the cause of a problem? Determining the impact of an issue? Examining the validity of information around a topic?Why is it important to find a cure for sickle cell anemia?