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UGS 302: Paratext: the Art of Commentary - Chaudhuri

Develop a Topic

Beginning the Research Process

Make sure you understand your research assignment! Look for key details such as the following:

  • Number of sources required
  • Types of sources required
  • Type of final product (think about what you're producing)

Start by brainstorming some potential topics to explore further.

  • Look through your syllabus or textbook for themes, concepts, or ideas that interest you, even if you haven't covered them in class yet.
  • Search the topic or name of your course in Google or a library article database. Check out any results that look interesting.
  • Think about your major or your hobbies. Do any of your personal interests overlap with the topic of the class?
  • Explore the news and current events. 

 

Now that you have a potential topic in mind think about what information you need, and where you can find it.

  • What questions do you want to explore with your research? 
  • What types of sources and information do you need?
    • Data, scholarly articles, a news source, etc.
  • Where might you find the information you need?
    • A specific database, a book, etc.

 

 

Finally, you'll need to test out your topic and see if you need to scope it. Test your topic by running some searches online and conducting background research. 

  • Too broad - if you found too many results when testing the topic, you might need to choose a specific aspect to focus on. Try looking for particular details that you can focus on for your assignment. 
  • Too narrow - if you had trouble finding any relevant information, think more broadly about the topic and what interests you. What are the larger concepts or ideas that your topic falls under?
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Picking Your Topic is Research

Video via NCSU LibrariesEdited to add UT Libraries information. Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States license. 

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