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How to Find a Research Topic


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What is a college-level research paper? How can you find a topic? Find the strategies from Windward students enrolled in the History 12 Senior Seminars.

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How to Find a Research Topic

  1. 1. Image from Cagle Post, brainstorming andfinding a research topic.
  2. 2. What is a college-level researchpaper?"Honestly I dont know."
  3. 3. What is a college-level researchpaper?
  4. 4. What is a college-level researchpaper?Trends in your responses:● It is longer and more in depth than a HS paper.● It is more analytical and thesis driven than a HS paper.● It draws from a variety of sources, both primary and secondary.● It is centered on a specific, "dense" topic.
  5. 5. What is a college-level researchpaper?"A college-level research paper involvesutilizing all the resources available to thestudent. At Windward we are usually toldwhere to look for information and directedon the right track for information. In collegeyou are on your own."
  6. 6. What is a college-level researchpaper?"A college level research paper usually will adda new, creative idea to a topic. It includes awell thought out thesis with a specific questionthat can be easily researched."
  7. 7. What is a college-level researchpaper?"A college-level research paper is much longerand much more detailed than a normal paper atWindward. Also, it requires more citationsand footnotes than other papers."
  8. 8. What is a college-level researchpaper?"It is longer and forces you to incorporateyour own ideas with a wide variety of validsources."
  9. 9. What strategies might you use tochoose a research topic?
  10. 10. What strategies might you use tochoose a research topic?Talk to people:"First, ask my parents and family members. Researchsome of their ideas that i thought were good.""I am not sure how I am going to choose my topic, but Iassume that I will be interested in a topic that comes up ina conversation in class."
  11. 11. What strategies might you use tochoose a research topic?Consider your interests:"1 step: find something thats wholly stimulating.""I would try and remember what sparked my interested inpast history courses or in current events. Then I might dosome background research on that topic to see if it is apossible subject."
  12. 12. What strategies might you use tochoose a research topic?Do background research to determine if thetopic will work for you:"I will choose a broad topic I know I am interested in andthen narrow it down based on the availability of resources.""Think about your interests and do some pre-research. "
  13. 13. Starting Broad, Ending NarrowBrainstorm as a group:What are general topic areas that a personmight choose to explore in his or her research?
  14. 14. Starting Narrow and Ending BroadHow can you turn a small curiosity into a largerresearch question?● Read over the survey responses of your classmates to the last set of questions.● Highlight responses that resonate with you.● Choose three comments from your highlighted list and write several questions that stem from that idea.● Share with a group of 3-4 students.
  15. 15. HomeworkFreewrite about a few topics that you areconsidering and why you are considering them.What questions do you have? What about thattopic makes you want to find out more?