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Distance Learning Guide: Research Assistance

Information and resources for Distance Learning Students and Faculty.

EasyBib

Quickly and easily create bibliographies with EasyBib.

Research Assistance LibGuide

This LibGuide includes the following research-related information:

Getting Started
Types of Sources
Library Catalog
Finding Articles
Scholarly vs. Popular
Finding Websites
Keywords
Citing Sources

Getting Started With Research

Narrow Topic from a Broad Topic and Create Research Question

  • Think about a broad topic you are interested in.
  • Focus on a particular aspect of the topic.
  • Narrow down the focused topic.
  • Develop a research question from the narrowed down topic.
  • Your paper will answer the research question that you develop - search for information to answer your research question.

See example below on how to take a broad topic all the way through a research question:

Broad Topic

Focused Topic

Narrowed Topic

Research Question

Pollution

Acid Rain

Acid Rain in the United States

What can the United States do to prevent acid rain?

 

Types of Research Questions

  • Comparison
    • What are the differences with juvenile crime rates when looking at both industrialized and non-industrialized societies?
  • Cause and Effect
    • What are the causes and effects of beach erosion along the Chesapeake Bay?
  • Measuring
    • How much television do High School students in the honor program wach?

Research Question Criteria

  • Open-ended (Cannot answer with a yes or no)
  • Addresses and issue
  • Able to take a stand on

Important: Narrow your topic for a more interesting & scholarly paper.

Locate Main Concepts

  • What are the main concepts in the research question?
  • The main concepts are the terms that you search for information with.
  • Example: What can the United States do to prevent acid rain?
    • Main Concept 1: United States
    • Main Concept 2: prevent
    • Main Concept 3: acid rain

Keywords & Similar Words

  • United States (America, U.S.)
  • Prevent (prevention, stop, avert)
  • Acid Rain (acid precipitation, air pollution)

Subject Guide

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Michelle Joy
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Subjects: Ask A Librarian