Topics and the Research Process
1. Find your topic. Is this a topic you already know about, or is it an interesting social issue that has pro and con arguments?
If you choose something you already know, you may find it difficult to break down subtopics or to expand on your topic because you are so close to the topic that it may be difficult to look at it objectively. When you research a controversial or pro/con issue, there will be quite a few subtopics that surface as you gather information and you can always form conclusions and make an argument in your paper or project.
2. The RESEARCH PROCESS and not only where to FIND information, but what to DO with it:
*Use the library databases to CHOOSE a topic.
* SEARCH our databases first, before Google or Wikipedia for information on your topic.
* BRAINSTORM for keywords and combining them in the most efficient ways to get useful information.
* IDENTIFY accurate sources such as books in the library or library databases, and evaluating other online sources for their accuracy and credibility.
* SYNTHESIZE your sources (database articles, books, websites, etc.) by ORGANIZING, WRITING, PRESENTING your research in a variety of ways.
* EVALUATING your work is the last step of the research process which should be done before you turn in your paper. Did you check sources for accuracy, do your conclusions and arguments make sense, did you proof-read your writing, and finally, did you correctly cite your sources?
Use Databases to Choose a Topic
If you have lost the database passwords sheet I gave you, go to Cubview, login and go to the Burns Library Cubview page http://cubview.loyolahs.edu/class/398/lesson/8240, and look for the password file to print or download it. It's very important to be logged in Cubview with your correct, Loyola email account (lhs.org) or else, you will not be able to download any files. If you need help, email Mrs. April Hannah at firstname.lastname@example.org or else pick up a blue flyer from the library.