Preliminary Research Exercise Deanna Blevins RHET 201 American University in Cairo
Purpose of the Exercise <ul><li>This exercise allows you to abandon an inappropriate topic before you waste too much time ...
<ul><li>Choose a topic you want to learn about. </li></ul><ul><li>Remember that research should lead to DISCOVERY, not mer...
Steps <ul><li>Choose a reasonably narrowed topic. </li></ul><ul><li>Find a general article on your subject (a magazine or ...
5. Write at least 10 highly focused, analytical research questions. <ul><li>These questions should be raised by, not answe...
Ineffective RQ’s <ul><li>No yes/no questions </li></ul><ul><li>No questions you already know the answer to </li></ul><ul><...
Effective RQ’s <ul><li>Analytical: why/how questions </li></ul><ul><li>Argumentative: an issue of debate </li></ul><ul><li...
Are the following good research questions? <ul><li>Is freedom of the press restricted in the US? </li></ul><ul><li>In what...
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Preliminary Research Exercise

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Preliminary Research Exercise

  1. 1. Preliminary Research Exercise Deanna Blevins RHET 201 American University in Cairo
  2. 2. Purpose of the Exercise <ul><li>This exercise allows you to abandon an inappropriate topic before you waste too much time on it. </li></ul><ul><li>Have in mind at least 2 sub-topics, or focuses, of a single broader topic. This way you can choose the most promising. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Choose a topic you want to learn about. </li></ul><ul><li>Remember that research should lead to DISCOVERY, not merely confirmation of what you already think or know. Keep an open mind and be objective. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Steps <ul><li>Choose a reasonably narrowed topic. </li></ul><ul><li>Find a general article on your subject (a magazine or newspaper article, an introduction to a book, an encyclopedia entry). </li></ul><ul><li>Skim it to see if it interests you and brings up any issues. </li></ul><ul><li>Read carefully, making notes and underlining. </li></ul>
  5. 5. 5. Write at least 10 highly focused, analytical research questions. <ul><li>These questions should be raised by, not answered by the article. </li></ul><ul><li>If you can’t think of enough questions, try another article. </li></ul><ul><li>If you still can’t think of enough questions, this is a sign the topic is not suitable for you. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Ineffective RQ’s <ul><li>No yes/no questions </li></ul><ul><li>No questions you already know the answer to </li></ul><ul><li>No general questions </li></ul><ul><li>No simple questions of fact </li></ul>
  7. 7. Effective RQ’s <ul><li>Analytical: why/how questions </li></ul><ul><li>Argumentative: an issue of debate </li></ul><ul><li>Require research from more than one source </li></ul>
  8. 8. Are the following good research questions? <ul><li>Is freedom of the press restricted in the US? </li></ul><ul><li>In what ways are press freedoms being restricted in the US? </li></ul><ul><li>Why are they being restricted? </li></ul><ul><li>How does press freedom in the US compare with other countries? </li></ul>

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