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Information Literacy Tutorial: Focusing Your Topic

How to Use Section 2

Part 2 of the tutorial consists of 3 sections (A, B & C) containing readings, videos and questions. First read through the information and watch the videos on pages 2.A, 2.B, and 2. C. When finished take the quiz at the end of section C.  The content in these sections is best followed from top-to-bottom beginning with the left column.

2. A. Understanding & Defining Your Topic
2. B. Focusing Your Topic
2. C. Research Questions

After completing this part of the tutorial students will be able to:

  • Describe the research process, and apply appropriate methods for developing a topic.
  • Analyze a research question to identify key concepts and terms in order to locate relevant sources.

The content in these sections is best followed from top-to-bottom beginning with the left column.

2. B. Using Wikipedia to Develop Your Topic

2. B. A Manageable Topic

A research topic should fit the scope of your assignment. You can't write a 5 page paper about everything there is to know about renewable energy. A focused topic will make researching and writing easier.

broad topic

You also don't want a topic that is so narrow that you may not be able to find enough information to write about. As you do your background research, take note of what you find to help focus your topic.

narrow topic

Once you find a topic, brainstorm some ideas for search terms that will help you find what you need.

examples of keywords