This guide contains information to help you do research for ENG 101: Foundations of Writing & Rhetoric assignments.
Sometimes, when you start researching, you don't know exactly what you're looking for. That's okay! You can start with a broad topic and narrow it to something more specific for your research project. Below are some tools to help you do so.
The easiest way to narrow your topic is to start with the broader umbrella category. Let's say you want to talk about nutrition. If you just started by putting 'nutrition' in the search bar, however, you'd quickly be overwhelmed by millions of entries.
So we narrow our topic. Start thinking of sub topics or pieces of your topic. By getting more specific right away, it will help weed out a lot of extra sources and you can focus in on a more specific topic.
You could try narrowing your topic by adding any of these aspects to your research:
Paying attention to these factors will help you focus on simply an aspect of your topic. Then you will have successfully narrowed your topic and your research to something much more manageable.
Below you'll find a worksheet to help you narrow your own topic and a tutorial for what narrowing a topic during the research process might look like.
Sometimes you will do such a good job narrowing your topic you might actually end up with to few resources. That's alright! Then you just need to 'narrow' your topic but in reverse! You need to broaden your topic and search parameters.
And, as always, if you still can't get enough evidence? Come see a librarian!
Introductory information can help provide an overview of the subject, help you better understand your topic, and also give you ideas for other terms and resources. Introductory information can be found in in encyclopedias and dictionaries and can help you start the research process.
The library has a number of online encyclopedias, dictionaries, and reference materials. Read the descriptions or ask a librarian to help you find one that will work well for your topic and information needs.
Use the MavScholar search box below to find most, but not all, library items available at Minnesota State Mankato.