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Biology

Explore & Refine

ExploreBefore you develop your research topic or question, you'll need to do some background research first.

Find background information in:

  • Your textbook or class readings
  • Encyclopedias and reference books
  • Credible websites
  • Library databases

Try the library databases below to explore your topic. When you're ready, move on to refining your topic.

Search for background info:

RefineNow that you've done some background research, it's time to narrow your topic.

Remember: the shorter your final paper, the narrower your topic needs to be. 

To narrow or refine your topic, ask yourself...

  • Is there a specific subset of the topic you can focus on?
  • Is there a cause and effect relationship you can explore?
  • Is there an unanswered question on the subject?
  • Can you focus on a specific time period or group of people?

 

Try filling in the blanks in the following sentence, as much as you can:

I want to research _________ (what/who)

and ________ (what/who)

in __________(where)

during _________(when)

because _________(why).