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Research Process: 1. Get Started

Choose a Topic

Consider an area of personal interest.Thought bubble image

Broad Topic:

Understand the Assignment

Review the format and writing style your instructor expects.

Get an Overview

Notebook image Computer image Book imageLook at encyclopedias, directories and other reference sources. Websites, textbooks and class notes are also a good place to start your research


Brainstorm by...

Mindmap image

Thinking of keywords: A list of words that describe your topic.

Creating a concept map: A visual layout or landscape of your topic. Identify different aspects of your topic and branch off to related ideas.

Broadening your topic: Broaden your topic if it is too specific. Expand your focus to a larger area, such as a country, continent, or time period.

Narrowing your topic: Narrow your topic if there is an overwhelming amount of information. For example, focus more closely on a geographical area, concept or species.

Develop a Research Question

Describe your research goal in the form of a statement or question. The answer to your research question will become your main argument or thesis.

Example Research Question:
How can you protect your personal information online?