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The Research Process

Create a Research Question

Come up with a tentative question you want to answer in your project.

Creating a research question will take your refined topic and turn it into a question your assignment will attempt to answer. Examples of research questions include:

  • What causes incorrect information to spread on social media?
  • How can we be informed social media users?

This will help keep you focused as you begin searching for information


Select your resources and develop your keywords

The search terms or keywords you use to search are what determine the results you get.  Here's a good exercise to help you generate keywords:

  1. Express your topic in the form of a question: "What is the effect of television violence on children?"
  2. Generate keyword search terms by identifying the main ideas or concepts within that topic sentence: "What is the effect of television violence on children?"; = Effect, Television, Violence, or Television violence and Children
  3. Expand your search terms by brainstorming related terms or synonyms that describe your main ideas:
  • Television; media, TV,
  • Violence; aggression,
  • Effect; influence,
  • Children; toddlers, youngsters, boys, girls