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How Do I Start My Research?

Do you Understand the Assignment?

Read the assignment requirements carefully. Go back to the previous page Understanding the Assignment for tips. If you are unsure what topic would be relevant, talk to your professor

Choosing a Research Question

Identifying a question, or research topic, is a very important part of the research process.

As you search, you may find that the new ideas you encounter cause you to change your original topic or idea. This is all part of the fun of research!

This short video gives ideas for how to broaden or narrow your topic based on the number of results you are getting. Checking the number of available sources on your topic, however, is only ONE way of researching your topic.

Stick with this guide to discover other aspects of the process.

Developing a Research Question

Consider the Scope of Your Question

If your question has an easy "yes" or "no" answer, it's probably not a research question.

  • If your topic would require tremendous background knowledge, experience, or collection of lots of data, you may not have chosen a good question.
  • Your research question should be narrow enough to work on in the time that you have during your semester and broad enough to to be able to locate supporting information ("sources").
  • Now is the time to talk with your instructor if you have doubts about the amount of work it will take to investigate your question.