starting your research building your working knowledge of a topic research questions and problems

1) Your list of keywords so far

1.1 In a document or Google doc, keep track of the keywords & phrases that you try out.

1.2 You can refer to this list to help you try different combinations of keywords.

1.3 Also, as your working knowledge of a topic grows, you will be able to use specific keywords. You will learn more terms/vocabulary and ideas. This list will help you to keep track of these as well.

2) Your list of sources so far

2.1 In a document or Google doc, keep a list of sources you find in your search.

2.2 Include the title or a description of the source + the link to the source.

2.3 Then, read/scan the source and choose a section or two to copy & paste into your doc. This way, you are keeping track of the content and what you are learning from each source.

2.4 ALSO, write down the genre of the source (e.g. academic research article, blog post, statistics report, news video, movie trailer, etc.). This will help you to sort through your sources later and figure out what sources you will use for what purposes.

You will gather strong, credible sources that help you learn more about your chosen topic. As you gather, explore, and finally select each source (around 6 sources total for individual projects; you will add that source to your “social network” around that topic. You can design your “Source Social Network” however you want (feel free to get visual and creative here!).

You will need to include credible, diverse sources that help you and your readers to get a full sense of the conversation around the topic

3) Developing a research problem

The research problem statement. The four parts to a research problem are

3.1 Topic. What are you studying?

Name your topic. Make sure that you use a noun that indicates actions or

relationships (e.g. conflict, contribution, description, development). Try out a few different wordings.

I am studying/trying to learn about _______.

Examples: I am trying to learn about the causes and effects of climate change. I am studying media and fan representations of Zayn Malik.

3.2 Question. What do you want to understand about your topic?

Add a question. Indicate what you do not know or understand about your topic.

Try writing more than one of these.

…because I want to find out how/what/why__________.

Examples: …because I want to find out how biodiversity is affected by climate change.

…because I want to find out how human activity both affects and is affected by climate change.

…because I want to find out how Zayn is othered in media and fan discourse with markers of race and/or religion.

…because I want to find out what positive and negative stereotypes are present in these discourses.

3.3 Significance. Why is my research important?

Motivate your question with a “So what?” Try to imagine the significance of your research to other people. Why do you want them to know and care about your research? Try writing a few of these.

…in order to help my reader understand how/why/what____.

Examples: …in order to help my reader understand what is happening in our ecosystems and our role in what is happening.

…in order to help my reader understand how we participate in patterns of narrative related to Muslims and Islam.

3.4 Application. How can my research be used?

Think of an application. You may not figure this one out until after you complete your research, but start thinking here about how your reader can act upon what they learn from your research.

…so that readers can_______.

Examples:

…so that my reader can take specific actions in their daily lives & routines as well as in their political action to respond to the effects of climate change on our ecosystems and living environments.

…so that readers can be aware of the narratives that surround us about Muslims and Islam and choose to construct alternative narratives with the language that we use.

3.5 Put it all together

Examples:

I am trying to learn about the causes and effects of climate change because I want to find out how human activity both affects and is affected by climate change in order to help my reader understand what is happening in our ecosystems and our role in what is happening so that my reader can take specific actions in their daily lives & routines as well as in their political action to respond to the effects of climate change on our ecosystems and living environments.

I am studying media and fan representations of Zayn Malik because I want to find out how Zayn is othered in media and fan discourse with markers of race and/or religion in order to help my reader understand how we participate in patterns of narrative related to Muslims and Islam so that readers can be aware of the narratives that surround us about Muslims and Islam and choose to construct alternative narratives with the language that we use.

4) Formulating research questions

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starting your research building your working knowledge of a topic research questions and problems

1) Your list of keywords so far

1.1 In a document or Google doc, keep track of the keywords & phrases that you try out.

1.2 You can refer to this list to help you try different combinations of keywords.

1.3 Also, as your working knowledge of a topic grows, you will be able to use specific keywords. You will learn more terms/vocabulary and ideas. This list will help you to keep track of these as well.

2) Your list of sources so far

2.1 In a document or Google doc, keep a list of sources you find in your search.

2.2 Include the title or a description of the source + the link to the source.

2.3 Then, read/scan the source and choose a section or two to copy & paste into your doc. This way, you are keeping track of the content and what you are learning from each source.

2.4 ALSO, write down the genre of the source (e.g. academic research article, blog post, statistics report, news video, movie trailer, etc.). This will help you to sort through your sources later and figure out what sources you will use for what purposes.

You will gather strong, credible sources that help you learn more about your chosen topic. As you gather, explore, and finally select each source (around 6 sources total for individual projects; you will add that source to your “social network” around that topic. You can design your “Source Social Network” however you want (feel free to get visual and creative here!).

You will need to include credible, diverse sources that help you and your readers to get a full sense of the conversation around the topic

3) Developing a research problem

The research problem statement. The four parts to a research problem are

3.1 Topic. What are you studying?

Name your topic. Make sure that you use a noun that indicates actions or

relationships (e.g. conflict, contribution, description, development). Try out a few different wordings.

I am studying/trying to learn about _______.

Examples: I am trying to learn about the causes and effects of climate change. I am studying media and fan representations of Zayn Malik.

3.2 Question. What do you want to understand about your topic?

Add a question. Indicate what you do not know or understand about your topic.

Try writing more than one of these.

…because I want to find out how/what/why__________.

Examples: …because I want to find out how biodiversity is affected by climate change.

…because I want to find out how human activity both affects and is affected by climate change.

…because I want to find out how Zayn is othered in media and fan discourse with markers of race and/or religion.

…because I want to find out what positive and negative stereotypes are present in these discourses.

3.3 Significance. Why is my research important?

Motivate your question with a “So what?” Try to imagine the significance of your research to other people. Why do you want them to know and care about your research? Try writing a few of these.

…in order to help my reader understand how/why/what____.

Examples: …in order to help my reader understand what is happening in our ecosystems and our role in what is happening.

…in order to help my reader understand how we participate in patterns of narrative related to Muslims and Islam.

3.4 Application. How can my research be used?

Think of an application. You may not figure this one out until after you complete your research, but start thinking here about how your reader can act upon what they learn from your research.

…so that readers can_______.

Examples:

…so that my reader can take specific actions in their daily lives & routines as well as in their political action to respond to the effects of climate change on our ecosystems and living environments.

…so that readers can be aware of the narratives that surround us about Muslims and Islam and choose to construct alternative narratives with the language that we use.

3.5 Put it all together

Examples:

I am trying to learn about the causes and effects of climate change because I want to find out how human activity both affects and is affected by climate change in order to help my reader understand what is happening in our ecosystems and our role in what is happening so that my reader can take specific actions in their daily lives & routines as well as in their political action to respond to the effects of climate change on our ecosystems and living environments.

I am studying media and fan representations of Zayn Malik because I want to find out how Zayn is othered in media and fan discourse with markers of race and/or religion in order to help my reader understand how we participate in patterns of narrative related to Muslims and Islam so that readers can be aware of the narratives that surround us about Muslims and Islam and choose to construct alternative narratives with the language that we use.

4) Formulating research questions

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