1b. Develop Questions & Keywords1d. Find Background Information1e. Refine a Topic
2a. Find Books2b. Find Articles2c. Find Full Text2d. Find Reserves2e. Find Images2f. Find Films2g. Find Websites2h. Search Strategies
3a. Evaluate Sources3b. Primary vs. Secondary Sources3c. Types of Periodicals
4a. Paraphrasing4b. Notetaking
5a. Plagiarism5b. MLA Citation Style5c. Works Cited Examples5d. Copyright
This is the "Step 1: Develop a Topic" page of the "Olin Library: Research Skills" guide.
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Olin Library: Research Skills   Tags: assignments, evaluating, information_literacy, learning, presentations, projects, research, skills, writing  

Last Updated: Oct 29, 2015 URL: http://library.drury.edu/research Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Step 1: Develop a Topic Print Page
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Topic Ideas

 Can’t think of a topic to research? 

  • Scan your textbook for broad topic ideas.
  • Peruse current magazines and newspapers to see what catches your eye.
  • Browse print and electronic encyclopedias.
  • Look at "hot topic" databases, such as Opposing Viewpoints, which feature articles on current events and controversial issues.
  • Surf news websites. Sites that Help with Hot Topics!
  • Discuss potential topics with your instructor, a librarian or a classmate.
 

Subject Librarians

For Research or Liaison Help contact:

William Garvin - Director
LIB 008 - 873-7482
Business Administration and Economics, English, Language, Music

Katherine Bohnenkamper
LIB 126 - 873-7485
Education, Exercise and Sports Science

Holli Henslee
LIB 103 - 873-7483
Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science & Math, Environmental Studies, Physics, Philosophy, Religion

Phyllis Holzenberg
LIB 116 - 873-7487
Communications, History/Political Science, Library, Theater, Women’s Studies

Jaqueline Tygart
LIB 012 - 873-7496
Architecture, Art & Art History, Behavioral Sciences

 

The Research Assignment - Define the Task

Before selecting a topic or starting your research, make sure you understand your assignment and its requirements. Consider the following:

  • Have you been assigned a topic or can you pick your own?
  • How many pages/words do you need to write? How long is your presentation?
  • Do you need to include specific types of sources? (e.g. scholarly journal, book, etc.)
  • When is the assignment due? How much time do you have to research?
  • Is currency of information important?

When in doubt, consult with your instructor.

 

Selecting a Topic - Video Overview

 

Tip!

Choose a topic that interests you and will hold your attention. If you do, the research will be more enjoyable!

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Tip