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WR122 Niziolek

Before you start your research... need to know what you need to find! 

Start by looking at the assignment and ask yourself these questions:

  • How many sources do you need?
  • Does your instructor state what type of sources you need? 
    • Do you need popular or scholarly resources? Peer-reviewed journal articles or eBooks? Are articles from online OK? What about encyclopedias?
    • If articles from online are OK, how can you evaluate them to make sure they are credible?
  • What kind of information do you think you will find in each type of source? Where will you find each type of source?

Choose a topic

Having trouble finding a topic for your paper? The most important aspect of your topic is that it needs to be interesting to you - because you get to learn (research) and write (paper) about it.

  1. Browse for suggested topics in CCC Library's databases (good database options for topic browsing are listed below under Browse for topics).
  2. Review your class lecture notes and PowerPoints.
  3. Brainstorm topics by making a concept map.
  4. Bounce ideas off of your classmates, instructor, or a librarian, tutor, or peer mentor.

A good topic:

  • is interesting to you;
  • is narrow enough - too broad a topic and you won't be able to cover it in your paper;
  • is broad enough - too narrow a topic and you won't be able to find enough information about it; and
  • fits the parameters of your assignment.

The research process

The research process isn't straight line! Learn about the multi-step process you go through as you explore a topic, learn about it, and present information on it.

Screen blank or would like Closed Captioning? Watch the YouTube video.

  Video created by CCC Library (June 2016).

More research help

Not sure where to start? Want a bit more help developing a topic or developing a thesis? Take a look at our Research Help guide! 

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