Skip to main content


Preparing for Research

Find Background Information

Identify Keywords

  • Use your readings and notes to identify relevant keywords for your topic
  • For example, keywords for the research topic "girls and sports" might include:
    • adolescents, teens, youth
    • Title IX
    • health, confidence, body image

Brainstorming 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 ask 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.