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Research 101: Developing Your Topic

A brief introduction to college-level research

Find Background Information Here!

Research topics are often formed from a vague or general idea. Background information is used for providing definitions, historical background or context, and for enlarging your initial idea.Begin with Gale Virtual Reference Library to quickly locate information on your topic or to help you focus your topic idea.

 
 

Develop a Research Topic

Once you have selected an initial topic, the next step is to develop research questions. To begin:

  • Write down what you already know or don't know about the topic.
  • Using the information you wrote down, develop questions you'd like to answer when doing your research.
    • Use probing questions such as why? how? what if? should?
    • Avoid questions that can be answered with yes or no.

See the short video below for more tips.