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Conducting Research for a Paper

Setting the Framing for Your Topic

Drawing focus to a topic by identifying it's elements and the relationships existing between each element is an effective means of framing your topic. Framing your topic also ensures it is not too broad or too narrow. If the topic is too broad you may find too much information. If your topic is too narrow, you likely will not be able to find enough information. Therefore, it is important to gather background information on the topic before developing a good research topic.

Research Tip: To obtain background information on your research topic, consult encyclopedias, handbooks, or guides.

When compiling background information it is helpful to:

  • identify and define key terms
  • identify and briefly summarize concepts or ideas
  • construct a timeline of important dates, events, and players

Application Exercise: After consulting two to three encyclopedias or handbooks, or guides, write a half page to full page introduction to the topic. Retain a copy of the completed exercise for yourself and download a second copy to D2L by [date]. 


How to Develop a Good Research Topic

Kent State Libraries. (2013 August 20). How to develop a good research topic [Video]. Youtube.

Resources to Consult to Obtain a Broad Overview of a Topic

Need Help? Ask a Librarian

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