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The Research Process

New to college research? This guide gives you an overview of how to get started.

Topic Ideas

idea light bulb iconStart With an Idea...

  • Topic ideas can come from many places: news, class discussions, textbooks, websites, etc.
  • Choose a topic that interests you.
  • Make sure the topic you choose meets your instructor's requirements.
  • A good topic starts as a research question. Research will give you the information you need to answer that question. 


Topic Ideas from Library Resources...

The following library databases make it easy to choose a topic and start your research. They include lists of topics where you can click a hyperlink and get a list of resources related to that topic right away. 


Your research question may change as you conduct research. That's OK! Opinions and arguments change as you learn more about your topic, and your research question should evolve to reflect this deeper understanding.

Video: Picking Your Topic IS Research

The following video will give you more information about how choosing a topic fits into the research process, and why it's so important.

Library Lingo

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Research Question:
What are you trying to find out? Your research question reflects the main idea of your paper or assignment. It will guide every step of your research. The research you conduct is your attempt to answer this question.  


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Have any questions?  Ask a librarian!



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