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CMP101 - Composition 1 - Clarkson: Defining Your Topic
Wikipedia is a great place to start your research, to get ideas about your topic, and to help you understand the issues related to a topic. While you won't use it as a source for your paper, you can use it to develop your topic, research question, and search strategy.
2. A. How to Develop a Good Research Topic
Concept Maps are a great way to visualize your topics. Begin with a broad topic and brainstorm ideas about related issues. Combine focused objects to create your research topic. For instance, you could research the impact of rainforest destruction on developing nations.
Where to Begin?
Look up your main concepts in general encyclopedias and subject-specific reference sources. Read articles in these reference materials to set the context for your research. Note important key terms or phrases. Note any relevant items in the bibliographies at the end of these encyclopedia articles. Additional background information may be provided in your lecture notes, textbooks and items on reserve in the library.
Our Credo Reference database has just what you need to get you started.
Informed viewpoints support learners in developing critical-thinking skills and drawing their own conclusions. Covers current social issues through viewpoints, reference articles, infographics, news, images, video, and audio.
Use Wikipedia to determine the issues related to your topic, and to generate keywords and search terms. Wikipedia is considered to be a general encyclopedia, and therefore cannot be used as a source for your paper. It is an excellent source to use to help you understand your topic. Look at the list of references at the bottom of the Wikipedia article; these are often good sources.
Look over your class notes and textbooks for some ideas and information about your topic.