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SOC/CRM 465 - Research Methods: Start Your Research

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

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.


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.

Further Resources