Focusing research topic

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Focusing research topic

  1. 1. Focusing your research topic
  2. 2. I’ve got my research topic. I’m ready to start researching.
  3. 3. What’s your topic?
  4. 4. Vegans. I like vegans.
  5. 5. Especially, Natalie Portman
  6. 6. Let the research begin!
  7. 8. 63,600,000 results
  8. 9. Dang. Maybe I don’t like vegans.
  9. 10. Don’t blame the vegans. You have too big a topic. You have to narrow it down.
  10. 11. How do I do that?
  11. 12. Let’s start by asking questions
  12. 13. 1st Question
  13. 14. What are the parts of your topic, and how do they relate to one another? Topic
  14. 15. What are the parts of your topic, and how do they relate to one another? Sink Faucet Drain Water Porcelain
  15. 16. What are the parts of your topic, and how do they relate to one another? Vegan Food Politics People Health
  16. 17. Are there different kinds of vegans? How much variety is in the vegan diet? What clothing restrictions do vegans have? Are animal products used in other things besides food and clothing? How political is the vegan movement? Does a vegan diet help or hurt your overall health? Do vegans own pets? Are vegans happier? healthier? Topic: Vegans
  17. 18. Now, your turn... Write 10 questions on the sub parts of your topic What are the parts of your topic, and how do they relate to one another? Topic
  18. 19. 2nd Question
  19. 20. How is your topic part of a larger system? Topic
  20. 21. How is your topic part of a larger system? Sink Bathroom Kitchen Homes Plumbing
  21. 22. How is your topic part of a larger system? Vegan Health Animal Rights Food Production Vegetarianism
  22. 23. What contributes to people living longer: better health or better medicine? Are humans meant to be carnivores? Do animals have personalities? Do animals have a soul? What influences our food choices? Is our food production helping or hurting the world’s population? Is it better to be vegetarian or vegan? Are cows treated better in India than in the U.S.? Topic: Vegans
  23. 24. Now, your turn... Write 10 questions on the larger systems your topic is a part of. How is your topic part of a larger system? Topic
  24. 25. 3rd Question
  25. 26. Categories How can your topic be grouped into kinds?
  26. 27. Topic: Vegans Vegans by choice Vegans by necessity Child-Teen vegans Vegan athletes Indian vegans Celebrity vegans Political vegans Vegan ranchers Vegan chefs
  27. 28. How does your topic compare to and contrast with others like it?
  28. 29. Are vegan diets more popular than vegan lifestyles? How do Indian vegans compare to vegans in the U.S.? How are the reasons people choose veganism similar or different? Are all animal rights activists vegan? Do teen vegans do better in school? Are child vegans healthier than non-vegan children? How do vegan athletes compare with non-vegan athletes? Are you considered vegan if your food allergies force you to eat a vegan diet? Topic: Vegans
  29. 30. Now, your turn... Write 10 questions comparing and contrasting these different types How can your topic be grouped into kinds? Topic Type 1:____________ Type 2:____________ Type 3:____________ Type 4:____________ Type 5:____________ Type 6:____________
  30. 31. 4th Question
  31. 32. How and why has your topic changed through time, as something with its own history? Topic now Topic before Topic before 1988 1994 1983 1998 1990
  32. 33. How has the number of vegans changed over time? Is veganism a trend that will disappear soon? Have vegans become more or less political over time? Have the reasons people choose to become vegan changed? What historical figures made people aware of veganism? Were vegans always linked to the animal rights movement? Topic: Vegans
  33. 34. Now, your turn... Write 10 questions on how your topic has changed over time How and why has your topic changed through time, as something with its own history? Topic now Topic before Topic before
  34. 35. 5th Question
  35. 36. How and why is your topic an episode in a larger history? 1920 1940 1960 1980 2008 Feminism or Pop Music or Fashion
  36. 37. How has our food supply changed over time? Has the change in food production affected our diet choices? Has the rise of factory farming turned more people into vegans? Have we become kinder or crueler to animals over time? How have restaurants or cafeterias changed as a result of the vegan movement? Topic: Vegans
  37. 38. Now, your turn... Write 10 questions on the larger history your topic is connected to How and why is your topic an episode in a larger history? 1920 1940 1960 1980 2008 Topic
  38. 39. 6th Question
  39. 40. How good or bad is your topic? Is it useful? Good Bad
  40. 41. How good or bad is your topic? Is it useful? Good Bad
  41. 42. Is a vegan diet safe for kids? Are vegans more ethical than carnivores? Do vegans deny their own animal instincts? If animals kill and eat each other, why shouldn’t we? Is there a way to eat an animal and feel good about it? Are vegans forcing their lifestyle on others? Is it possible to live without consuming animal products? Don’t we need to control the animal population? Topic: Vegans
  42. 43. Now, your turn... Write 10 questions evaluating the pros and cons of your topic Evaluate your topic: What do you like and not like about it? Like about topic Good Bad Don’t like about topic
  43. 44. 6th Question
  44. 45. Ask What if? and other speculative questions
  45. 46. What if McDonalds only sold vegan food? What if every school had a working farm? If everyone had to slaughter their own animals, would more people be vegan? Would cows overpopulate the earth if everyone were vegan? Would animals eat us if we didn’t eat them? What if fruits and vegetables were subsidized by the government? Topic: Vegans
  46. 47. Now, your turn... Write 10 What if? and other speculative questions about your topic
  47. 48. I’m exhausted.
  48. 49. Good! Now let’s organize your questions into categories
  49. 50. Which questions can you answer in a reference work? (Encyclopedia, Wikipedia, Dictionary) Mark these with an X These are the questions that are easiest to answer and should not be the focus of your research paper
  50. 51. Which questions may lead to interesting debates? Mark these with a These are the questions that are harder to answer and will lead to a better research paper
  51. 52. Which questions are most interesting to you? Mark these with a These are the questions that will motivate you to find the answers and make it easier to write the paper
  52. 53. Done. Can I research now?
  53. 54. Yes. Start with a more specific question and you’ll get more targeted results. And use the library database instead of Google.
  54. 55. Start here
  55. 59. Type question or key words into search box
  56. 60. Fewer, more targeted results!
  57. 61. From reputable sources!
  58. 62. Abstract summarizes article
  59. 63. Allows you to save document for easy retrieval
  60. 64. Once you find a good article, use this find more like it
  61. 65. Works just as well with the other databases Type question or key words into search box
  62. 66. Fewer, more targeted results!
  63. 67. From reputable sources!
  64. 68. Other, more targeted ways to search!
  65. 69. See how easy?
  66. 70. Success!
  67. 71. Advantages of brainstorming research questions More specific topics make research faster and easier More specific topics make research more interesting More specific topics makes your work more original
  68. 72. Advantages of using the library database instead of Google Faster and easier to find reputable information Sources are more relevant to your topic Sources are higher quality and peer reviewed
  69. 73. Your assignment: 1. 50 questions on your research topic 3. One article from the database that answers question 2. Categorize types of questions with X

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