Topic Development

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Topic Development

  1. 1. Topic Selection and Development
  2. 2. Topic Selection <ul><li>Most courses you have the luxury of choosing your own paper topic within the discipline, some courses you do not. </li></ul><ul><li>Some things to keep in mind are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Choose something of interest to you. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make sure your topic is manageable. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Choose a project you can finish in the time allotted. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Choose your approach: analytical, argumentative, narrative, chronological, humorous, serious. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>No matter what, have a clear understanding of what your topic is. You may have to fine tune your topic from time to time, but never lose sight of what your paper is about. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Topic Development <ul><li>Step One: Choose your area of interest </li></ul><ul><li>Step Two: Choose you area of focus </li></ul><ul><li>Step Three: Refine to a more specific research question. </li></ul><ul><li>Step Four: Think about how you are going to approach your topic </li></ul><ul><li>Step Five: Think about the types of information you need to answer your research question. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Where to Find Background Information & Terminology <ul><li>Subject Dictionaries </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dictionary of Environment & Conservation Dictionary of Ecology Available online from WSU Libraries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dictionary of Water & Waste Management Available Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Environmental Change GE10 .E536 2001 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Environmental Science GE10 .M378 2003 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Subject Encyclopedias & Thesauri </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Encyclopedia of Energy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Encyclopedia of Environmental Science & Engineering TD9 .E5 2006 v. 1-2 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Encyclopedia of Global Change: Environmental Change & Human Society </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Encyclopedia of Water Science Available online from WSU Libraries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multilingual Thesaurus of Environmental Terms Z695.1.E62 M85x 1997 </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Where to find Articles: Some Subject-Specific Databases <ul><li>Political Science </li></ul><ul><li>Congressional Lexis-Nexis </li></ul><ul><li>CQ Researcher Online </li></ul><ul><li>ICPSR </li></ul><ul><li>Left Index </li></ul><ul><li>PAIS International </li></ul><ul><li>Worldwide Political Science Abstracts </li></ul><ul><li>History </li></ul><ul><li>America History and Life: US & Canadian History </li></ul><ul><li>Historical Abstracts: World history, except US & Canada </li></ul><ul><li>Historical Statistics of the United States </li></ul><ul><li>History Cooperative </li></ul><ul><li>JSTOR </li></ul>
  6. 6. Selected Databases by Subject <ul><li>Science </li></ul><ul><li>ACS Journal Search (Chemistry) </li></ul><ul><li>ARIBIB (Astronomy) </li></ul><ul><li>BIOSIS (Life Sciences & Biology) </li></ul><ul><li>Fish & Fisheries World (Ichtyology & fisheries) </li></ul><ul><li>Index to American Botanical Literature (Botany) </li></ul><ul><li>SciFinder Scholar </li></ul><ul><li>Earth & Environmental </li></ul><ul><li>Sciences </li></ul><ul><li>AGRICOLA </li></ul><ul><li>GeoRef </li></ul><ul><li>ENDEX </li></ul><ul><li>Energy Citations </li></ul>
  7. 7. Web Resources <ul><li>Style Guides </li></ul><ul><ul><li>WSU Libraries Handouts: Style Guides http://www.wsulibs.wsu.edu/electric/search/category_results.asp?loc=handouts&cat=style </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>WSU Libraries Virtual Reference Shelf: Citing Sources http://www.wsulibs.wsu.edu/RefShelf/citing.html </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>APA Style Tips: http://www.apastyle.org/styletips.html </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Chicago Manual of Style Online: http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/home.html </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Evaluating Information Resources </li></ul><ul><ul><li>UC Berkeley: Critical Evaluation of Resources http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/instruct/guides/evaluation.html </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cornell University: Critically Analyzing Information Sources http://www.library.cornell.edu/olinuris/ref/research/skill26.htm </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Karenann Jurecki 131 Owen meebo/kjurecki [email_address]

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