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Research Basics

Learn how to begin your research in this LibGuide and find help along the way.

Subject Vs. Topic

To get a topic, start with your subject.

Subject Research Topic

Education

"What method is best for teaching children how to spell?"
Science
"What are the latest theories about the extinction of dinosaurs?"
Sociology
"What effect, if any, does violence in the media have on children?"

Psychology

"What are the latest treatments for depression?"

Narrow your topic down from a broad subject. It helps to think of a question that you'd like to answer.

Instead of: "I like listening to music", ask "What are the positive effects of music on college students?"

Next create a search strategy by identifying key concepts in your topic summary, for example:

I want to find information on how home schooling affects social development.

Now you can use the terms "home schooling" and "social development" in a search.

Another example:

I want to investigate the seasonal patterns in the vertical distribution of phytoplankton.

Now you can use the terms "seasonal patterns", "vertical distribution", and "phytoplankton" in a search.

Need help choosing a topic? These books can help.

These titles, found in the TU library, give opposite viewpoints on important social topics that can become paper topics, if approved by your professor.


These titles, found in the TU library, give opposite viewpoints on important social topics that can become paper topics, if approved by your professor.


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