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First-Year Writing Resources: Plan

A guide for instructors and first year students to library resources

Planning

Developing your Research Question or Thesis

​​Choosing Your Topic 

  • Is the topic interesting to you? This may seem silly, but writing about something that is interesting to you will make the project more fun and engaging. 
  • Does the research topic fit the assignment? Check with your professor/instructor if you are unsure.  
  • Is there enough information on the topic or is there too much? If a topic is too broad it may be hard to find information that is focused and relevant. If your topic is too narrow it may be hard to find any information at all. 
  • Research is a process. As you work to develop your thesis statement, you may find you need to broaden or narrow your topic as you see fit, this is normal.

Exploring Your Topic 

  • Now that you have selected a research topic make a list keywords and/or phrases. 
  • Use these keywords and phrases to explore ScholarOneSearch and the various databases here at Snell Library. 

What is the difference between a research topic and a research question?

Your research topic may be COVID-19 and African Americans.
 Search for information about these two topics for your literature review. Based on what you learn, develop the research question--What about COVID-19 and African Americans?

Research question:
What are the cardiovascular effects of COVID-19 on African-American women, who often face adverse health and economic disparities?  (This is an actual research project funded by the American Heart Association)

How do I choose a Research Topic?

How do I develop a research question?

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