How to Research: A Tutorial
Focus your topic
Got a topic? Great! Now what?
You will need to focus your topic into something you can research. If your topic is too broad, you will find too many sources and not be able to cover everything in your paper. If your topic is too narrow, you may not find enough sources to meet the requirements of the assignment.
- Try stating what you want to research in the form of a question.
- How has racial profiling impacted the number of African American minors who are stopped for traffic violations?
- What one factor should the US government focus on to slow the effects of global warming?
- How has the investigation of MLB players using performance enhancing drugs affected college athletesí attitudes towards steroid use?
- If you know what you want to prove through your research, form your topic into a thesis statement.
- Racial profiling accounts for a significant number of African American minors being stopped for traffic violations, compared to other drivers on the road.
- The US government should focus its efforts on alternative energy sources to have the greatest impact on slowing the effects of global warming.
- The investigation of MLB players who used performance enhancing drugs has prompted a decrease in the number of college athletes who use steroids to enhance their performance.
- You can start your research with either a question or a thesis. Just be sure you have focused your topic enough so that your searches will be relevant and useful.
- Racial profiling
- Global warming
- Athletes who use steroids
- Racial discrimination of Mexican-American women in Vermont Colleges
- Use of steroids by baseball players who wore the number 12 in 2007
A thesis statement is the argument you will support throughout your paper. It tells your reader exactly what you plan on proving.