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What Makes a Good Research Topic?
What is Research?
A research paper uses data/information from various sources to answer a question. It is not just an explanation of or report about a topic.
A good research paper begins with a good question. You should choose a narrow aspect of the topic which you can explore in depth. You start with a question, collect data or information, synthesize the data/information, analyze the data/information in light of the question, and then make your conclusions about the question.
A thesis statement is a hypothesis of the answer to your research question. Since you haven't collected all the data/information yet, it is only a proposal of what your conclusion may be. You will need to demonstrate whether this proposal is correct. Remember, though, to look at all sides of the question. Don't just select information that proves your hypthesis is correct!
Refining Your Research Topic
Refining Your Research Topic
This worksheet focuses on identifying the main concepts in your research question, generating synonyms for those concepts, and structuring your search for more effective searching and more productive search results.
Scholarship is a Conversation
Finding Background Information AU
Online Reference for Background Information
Before you get deep into the writing process, you'll probably need to find some background information about some aspect of your topic.
For definitions of key terms and concepts, or to get historical context for an event happening or a movement starting, you'll want to consult one of the sources below.
Global Issues In Context
Focuses on broad issues, such as war, genocide, terrorism, human rights, poverty, famine, globalization, world trade, nuclear proliferation, and global warming, as well as more specific events and topics that are related to these broader issues.
U.S. History In Context
Covers information on the most significant people, events, and topics in U.S. history. Contains magazine, journal and news articles, as well as primary source documents, images, videos, and audio files.
Science In Context
Covers information about today’s most significant science topics. Contains magazine, journal and news articles, as well as primary source documents, images, videos, and audio files.
World History In Context
Covers information on the most significant people, events, and topics in world history. Includes magazine, journal and news articles, as well as primary source documents, images, videos, and audio files.
Literature Resource Center
Find biographical information, full-text literary criticism, and reviews on writers in all disciplines, from all time periods, and around the world.
Coverage from 1980 to current, with full-text articles published from 1997 to current.
New York Times
This is coverage from 1985 to present.
For coverage: 1851 - 2012, see a librarian.
Also AVAILABLE IN PRINT IN THE LIBRARY.
Wall Street Journal
Searches 1984- present editions of the WSJ online. It contains only text. We have the current WSJ issues in the Newspaper area of the Library.
Features more than 15,000 news, business and legal sources from LexisNexis®, including foreign language newspapers and U.S. Supreme Court decisions dating back to 1790.
Off Campus Access
Provide your Assumption University email login and password information in order to access the Library’s catalog, eBooks and databases of journal articles from off campus.