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ENGWR 302 (Rangel)

ENGWR 302 (Rangel)

Generating Keywords

Generating Keywords

Concept Clouds can be very useful in helping you generate keywords for your search strategy.  

After coming up with the keywords make sure you don't type in too many words.

Bad strategy - "Should American football officials be held responsible for NFL players neurological health issue in retirement?" -- --returns zero articles or books

Go with a simple search strategy -   "NFL and Concussions"  -- -- returns over 12,000 articles and books

Concussion Concept Cloud

How to Choose a Research Topic

Are you interested in this topic?

         Your research will be less tedious if you are looking for something you have a personal interest in.

What exactly is your assignment?

Check with your instructor and read your assignment carefully to make sure that you are on the right track.

Questions that can help clarifying your thoughts:

  • Why did you choose the topic?  What interests you about it?  Do you have an opinion about the issues involved?
  • Who is your research about?  Adults? Women? Children? LGBT? Who is affected by the topic?  Do you know of organizations or institutions affiliated with the topic?
  • What are the major questions for this topic? What are the major aspects of the topic? Political? Ethical? Psychological? Are there a range of issues and viewpoints to consider?
  • Where is your topic important: at the local, national or international level?  Are there particular areas that the topic is pertinent to this topic? 
  • When did your topic become important?  Is it a current event or an historical issue?  Do you want to discuss your topic in the history context?
  • Is my topic too broad or too narrow?
    • If you get too many hits in OneSearch or in the research databases, then your topic may be too broad.
    • If you get very few or no hits in OneSearch or the research databases, then your topic may be too narrow.

If your assignment requires a source from an academic journal...

If your assignment requires a source from an academic journal, make sure to run a search in OneSearch for academic journal articles on your topic before you lock in your topic.

With certain research topics it will be difficult to find academic journal articles which means that you'll have a more difficult time with your assignment. 

Always check OneSearch before locking in your topic.

More Detailed Topic Picking Help

Creating a Concept Map