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Research Fundamentals: Plan

A guide to print and online resources for starting your research.

  Develop your Research Question or Thesis

Start by writing a question or statement that describes your topic.  For example:

  • How can architects design buildings that are both aesthetically pleasing and in keeping with the goals of sustainability? 

  • The bank bailouts didn't help the U.S. economy.

  • Wikipedia is an important research tool.

  • Is it a good idea to legalize marijuana?

  Planning your Research Strategy - Keywords

After you've developed your questions, select the keywords and phrases in the statement and try to come up with others that might apply, in this case:

How can architects design buildings that are both aesthetically pleasing and in keeping with the goals of sustainability?

     sustainable architecture
     sustainable buildings
     sustainable design
     environment 
     architects
     aesthetic
 
     architectural design
    
energy conservation
     design
     construction

Is it a good idea to legalize marijuana?
 
     marijuana or marihuana -- some databases will allow a wildcard search for both spellings: mari?uana
     pot
    cannabis
    medical marijuana
    legalize
   decriminalize
   illegal drugs
   illicit drugs

Need Help?

Research Tools

Review question: What research materials will help you complete your assignment or answer the questions you've posed?