Visit The Perch to browse the latest news and magazines, talking about today's issues. Stopping by to peruse the publications in person, or opting to give them the once over online, you can let your curiosity guide you as one article or another makes you pause and ponder. Is anything that you're reading making you think or making you emote? That may be a great place to start your exploration of a topic for your research project!
Creating a concept map can help you begin to think about your topic and create a search strategy. As you begin a project, your topic may evolve, but you need to identify what you know about it and what questions you have. Concept maps include the key concepts associated with your topic, alternative terminology for those concepts, and the relationships between the various aspects of your topic.
To create a concept map:
Feeling stuck? Here are some questions to get you going:
Write down any questions you come up with during the process. Those questions may help develop a more precise topic, or determine different avenues of inquiry around the topic.
By doing this activity, you have just created a whole list of keywords that can now be used to do a much richer and more varied search of the research databases. This means better results to work with! Good job, you!
Successful searches for information require you to be creative and flexible. The words you use to describe your topic may be different than the words used by the person who created the information you need to find. Challenge yourself (and give yourself enough time) to search, read, discover new terms, and then search again. Research is an iterative process!