1. Brainstorm your research questions and keywords
2. Find articles on your topic using the library databases. Analyze your best article and use it to find additional sources
3. Find a book on your topic -- print or electronic
4. Find a relevant, reliable website on your topic
5. Revisit and revise your research questions and keywords
6. Document your sources: MLA citation
Draw a circle in the middle of a blank piece of paper. Inside the circle, put your idea for a paper topic
Brainstorm as many questions as you can about your topic. Try asking questions such as Why? Who? How? When? Where? In what ways?
|Look for broad questions that can be further divided into more narrow, specific questions. If you run out of ideas as a friend or classmate for help -- what questions do they have about your topic?||
Continue to narrow your topic by asking questions about culture, geography, demographics, time periods, and historical events.
Review your topic map. Which questions are you most interested in? Which are the best fit for your assignment? Highlight keywords and phrases you can use to search for information on this topic.
Source: UCLA Library Inquiry Labs