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Research in the Social Sciences (Flex 2015)

Getting Started: Selecting a Topic

Try browsing these sites to get ideas for your research topic:

Getting Started: Research Questions

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