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FYS 100 Star Wars: The Good, The Bad, and The Sociology -- Fall 2022: Getting Started

The Key to Research

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The Key to Good Research -- Patience is a Virtue!!!

Picking Your Topic IS Research

Basic Research Steps

  • Select an interesting and doable topic.
  • Identify each component of your topic.
  • Select appropriate terms to describe the components and use truncation as appropriate.
  • Determine the correct use of Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT).
  • Select fields to search if appropriate (author, title, subject).
  • Limit your results as necessary (date, scholarly vs. popular, etc.).
  • Evaluate your results and rethink your strategy as necessary.

Background Information

When you begin a research project, it is helpful to do some background reading to get an overview of a topic. Background reading can help with following:

  • tell you the various aspects or facets of a topic to help you broaden or narrow your research
  • the vocabulary words (a.k.a. keywords) associated with the topic to use in a computer search
  • name of important people or organizations related to your topic
  • a bibliography of  books and articles on the topic

Another strategy is to locate a book on your topic and examine the chapter titles in the table of contents and entries in the index at the back of the book to learn more about aspects of the topic that could narrow your research question.

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