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ENGL 101--Seeger : Preparing to Search

Preparing to Search

The first step of the research process is to choose a topic.  For this assignment, you must choose a topic that would be suitable for a persuasion paper.

The second step of the research process is to explore your topic.  If you're researching a topic you know nothing about, this would be an opportunity to begin reading broadly about your topic so that you can begin to develop some familiarity with it.  However, if you're dealing with a topic you do know something about, you can explore your topic by brainstorming what it is you know about your topic or what you think you know; any associations you have with the topic; what you don't know; what questions you have; etc...                 

The third step of the research process is to generate potential search terms that will help you find the necessary information that will either answer your research question or prove/disprove your hypothesis.  Looking at what you've written under steps one and two, circle any word or phrase that might be useful as a search term.  You're looking for those main ideas and the language you used to articulate them. 

  • Once you've done that, it's helpful to consider synonyms (words that mean about the same thing) and related terms. 
  • Once you've identified some potential search terms, use the blank table to come up with potential search term combinations.  Remember when using this table, limit to one concept per box, and each line is a search.

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