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ENGL 12B/14B Najarro

Develop Your Topic

Before you develop your research topic or question, you'll need to do some background research first.

Some good places to find background information:

  • Your textbook or class readings
  • Encyclopedias and reference books
  • Credible websites
  • Library databases

Try the library databases below to explore your topic. When you're ready, move on to refining your topic.

Find Background Information

REFERENCE

   Poetic Inquiry II : Seeing, Caring, Understanding: Using Poetry As and for Inquiry
   by Galvin, Kathleen T. and Monica Prendergast
   Call Number: eBook
   Publication date: 2016

 

 

 

   Contemporary Poetry
    by Nerys Williams
   Call Number: eBook
   Publication date: 2011

 

Databases

Websites

Poetry Foundation  Articles, Video, Audio & Podcasts. Browse Poems and Poets. Poetry Out Loud.

Library of Congress: Poetry and Literature Center at Library of Congress

Now that you've done some background research, it's time to narrow your topic. Remember: the shorter your final paper, the narrower your topic needs to be. Here are some suggestions for narrowing and defining your topic:

  • Is there a specific subset of the topic you can focus on?
  • Is there a cause and effect relationship you can explore?
  • Is there an unanswered question on the subject?
  • Can you focus on a specific time period or group of people?

Describe and develop your topic in some detail. Try filling in the blanks in the following sentence, as much as you can:

I want to research ____(what/who)____

and ____(what/who)____

in ____(where)____

during ____(when)____

because ____(why)____


Narrowing your topic makes it more specific, which makes it easier to research and write about.