Welcome to our four-part series on beginning research skills! Over the course of this series, we will cover choosing a research topic, narrowing that topic down, and using successful research skills to find resources to support your paper topic.
One of the hardest parts of any undertaking is often the beginning. Taking that first step of a journey can be the most difficult, simply because we might not have yet figured out where we’re headed, much less how we’re going to get there. Writing a paper can be the same way. Well, your librarians are here to help.
Before you can begin any research, you need to choose a topic. Here are some tips:
- Choose something you’re genuinely interested in.
- Don’t be afraid to choose something outside your comfort zone.
- It’s often easier to start with a broad topic and narrow it down.
- Try using the library databases to help you brainstorm a topic.
To access the library databases, log-in to the library splash page at: www.evergladeslibrary.com The library databases are located in the blue box.
For general education topics, the Opposing Viewpoints databases are a great place to start. Click on the LIRN link, then on Connect to Gale InfoTrac. Opposing Viewpoints in Context and Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center: Critical Thinking are located about halfway down the list of Gale databases.
Both databases contain lists of popular and commonly searched topics. Choosing a topic from the resources here would be an excellent starting place for a general education paper.
From Opposing Viewpoints in Context:
From Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center:
This method also works for choosing topics for your major specific classes. Many of the subject specific databases highlight popular topics or current news on their homepages. AWIN, shown below, is just one example of this.
Aviation Week Intelligence Network (AWIN):
For any questions, don’t hesitate to contact one of your librarians. We’d be happy to brainstorm ideas with you. Check back next week for the second part of our Beginning Research Series: Narrowing Down Your Topic!