There are a variety of things you need to understand about your assignment before you start researching. Remember when picking an argument that it needs to be just that: an argument. Larger Idea What trends in eating have emerged in the United States in the last 2 decades? Sometimes you get to pick a topic and sometimes your teacher or professor assigns you a topic. For the purposes of this learning packet, let say that you are writing on the subject of decomposition. See, the topic is already much narrower, right? Now decide whether you want to make it a comparative study, a correlational study, a descriptive or historical study. Business Does American Agriculture Promote Healthy Eating? Always remember that you can go back to research at any time of your writing process.
When the topic is broad there are many dimensions and you cannot control these dimensions. Will you focus on music from the United States, or will you write about music from another country? What information do you need? You can do this easily by moving through the following steps. To illustrate, the researcher might decide to look at changes in state and federal diesel taxes and the consumption of diesel; all of these are readily available as archival data. You cannot possibly write a good essay about such a large topic in only a few pages. Overwhelming though a project may be, starting at the foothills of a new thread of research is a great privilege, and is best approached as an opportunity to learn rather than a drudgery.
Narrowing My Thesis Topic Upon entering a library and you have found gazillion of books that could pass as your reference, it is a sign that your topic is too broad. Do these citations link to credible sources universities, research facilities, etc. Do a preliminary search in an article database. Strategy 1: Be more specific To narrow your topic, think of ways to by focusing on a smaller aspect of the topic, one key component of the topic, a specific time period, or perhaps a specific location. Try thinking about subsequent questions and how you might answer them. You should see only four or five books on the shelf that address your specific research question maybe fewer! How can this be turned into a more manageable topic? However, you should be able to identify the information needed and how you might be able to get it. This is an important step; many good questions cannot be answered because the data are impossible or too expensive to obtain.
How much information do you need? As you research, look for specifics about a subject and check to. Specific Topic: Robert Glover, ceramics artist Alternate focus: Ceramics artists Alternate Place: California, the U. Although you will want to start the writing process by considering a variety of different approaches to studying the research problem, you will need to narrow the focus of your investigation at some point early in the writing process. Example: The quality of small batches of beer is affected by the overall health of the yeast used during fermentation. For example, a researcher looking at the relationship between cost and consumption of fuel might ultimately ask if increases in state diesel taxes from 1985 to 1995 decreased diesel consumption. An informative paper will require more fact-based sources than an analysis, which is more opinion based.
Your time is money in the case of research and you have to develop a topic that can make better use of this money. This thesis also gives you a clear focus and will make writing your paper much easier. It can seem overwhelming with all the different sources and citation guides, but don't worry! If you're doing medical research you'll probably need to look in a medical journal, whereas research Hamlet will need books and articles in literary periodicals. You are likely so familiar with theories that they are already underlying your questions or propositions. Remember, you're going to be spending quite a bit of time with this topic, so pick one that you're going to enjoy writing about. If you're looking at history, do you need specific documents from your time period? This becomes interesting as you satisfy their curiosity of the without having them rigorously going through the process of gathering data and investigating external sources as much as you do. The library has tools to help with this.
Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, p. During the first three steps, you chose a topic. You need to rephrase your topic again. Do you need facts, opinions, analyses, or research studies, or a mixture? Whether you are assigned a general issue to investigate, given a list of problems to study, or you have to identify your own topic to investigate, it is important that the scope of the research problem underpinning your study is not too broad, otherwise, it will be very difficult to adequately address the problem in the space and time allowed. · Write a draft of your paper. Whatever your topic might be, make it your own! Be careful, however, because combining multiple strategies risks creating the opposite problem--your problem becomes too narrowly defined and you can't locate enough research or data to support your study. The research question is the topic, and the question must be narrow enough for you to collect and analyze data, qualitative or quantitative, to answer in 50 to 100 pages of text.
In summary, the steps outlined in this learning packet encourage academic writers who want to increase the precision of the topics they write about to go through a process. Example: beer and microorganisms 3 Name a specific aspect of the specific topic. This is to be expected, and the process of developing propositions helps you narrow your topics down to a single question that is manageable for your thesis or dissertation. These terms may appear at the bottom of the citation or on the detailed screen of an item. Once you have your preliminary research completed you'll need to narrow the focus of your topic.
You might need to spend some time researching to learn more about your topic even before you figure out how to narrow a topic. Are you for or against it? In this way you can easily justify your research. Introduction: Research is Never a Waste of Time, But Always Make Good Use of Your Time. You have four pages to write a convincing essay about your topic, but what should you write about? Before you begin searching for articles, it helps to have a topic in mind. If your topic is just a word or two, then it is not specific. General Topic: the environment Time span: 1960s to the present Place: oceans, Los Angeles Person or group: organizations working on the issues Event or Aspects: behavior; sociological; changes How to Broaden Your Topic Example: I'm doing a paper about a particular artist who graduated from Otis This topic as stated may not have many many articles yet written about it. Can you explain it to a friend? One thing you should keep in mind research is a task of responsibility and from the start do not take anything for granted and be very clear about your research topic.
This includes things like the format of the material, how important time is to your topic, how important place and languages are to your topic. Example: beer 2 Take you topic area and describe it more specifically. If you haven't, you'll need to do some more research. Determine the types of information you'll need. The readers are relying on how specific can you get. Use these sources and others to decide what stance you are going to take on your topic. Three Strategies for How to Narrow a Topic Not all strategies work best for all topics, so try a combination of all of these to see which works best for your topic.