The Research Process
- start your research early.
- make sure your professor approved your topic!
- read active and critical.
- write as you go.
- Think about your sources and rate it thoroughly. Peer-verified sources are generally more reliable.
resources to help
- ask a librarian you connect to a library to help you navigate collections
- nyus write center helps every NYU student to get help when writing
Document your sources carefully.
- RefWorks, a citation management software program, can save time and effort! It is available for free for NYU students.
- The library also offers the premium version of EasyBib.
The time has come. You can no longer avoid it. You have to write a paper. How do you get from this realization to the finished product?
First, unless your teacher has a specific topic assigned to a specific topic, you have to think of one. This is often the hardest - and the most important part of the process. Fortunately, the library can help! If you follow this series of steps, you can find out your theme and give in this paper in your hand before you know it.
Click on the links for more information about every step:
- right from the beginning, you should always ask: What begins to be interesting for me? What are I interested in? For example, they take an American history course, and when the course in the 1960s civil rights movement comes into the section, something clicks. They suddenly pay extra attention, thinks of many questions and want to read and know more. This is the kind of topic you should choose for your research.
- The civil rights movement is a tremendous topic, and your topic is impossible to explore if it is either too wide or too tight. As soon as you have chosen a wide topic as the civil rights movement, ask yourself: What is it about this broad topic that interests me? Maybe you are interested in the music of the civil rights movement, in which case you may ask: How do music help to make the actions of the civil rights movement of the 1960s?
- now, where you asked the question, it's time to think of some keywords that could relate to it. This helps you to search for information sources on your topic. First, the keywords will probably be obvious. Only from the question itself we can take in with:
- civil rights movement; Music; 1960s
- We can also think of some possibly related terms. For example, many of the songs were allowed to influence African-American influences with Christian or gospel roots. So we could say that some other keywords could be:
- Christian (or Christianity); Church music; African American
- reference materials -, encyclopedias, dictionaries and manuals - can a great help at this time. These sources can quickly summarize research in a particular area and guide them to reading. There are reference work on hundreds, even thousands of handed topics. See which reference works were written in the topics you found as your keywords, and pretty soon you have begun to refine your research topic - insights into some finer points to find some new keywords to find out specific questions.
- now, since you have some basic knowledge of the topic under your belt, you can search for further information such as books and scientific articles. Now do you have to ask: Which scholars could have made material on this topic? In our case, this could be: • Historians of the 1960s or the civil rights movement • Musicologists • Africana Studies or American Studies scholars.Now you know where to look for information - you look at the places where the above-mentioned scholars could be found. Use the keywords you generated to create searches in catalogs and databases.
- Explore ideas for potential topics.
- Set a specific question about the topic you chose.
- Create the lists of keywords in relation to your topic.
- Use reference sources to refine your topic.
- Determine which types of scholars and experts are interested in their topic .
- Based on the evidence you have collected, answer your research question with a clear explanation.
- try to think of other ways to tell your keywords. You probably already know more than you think!
- speak with people - friends, family, professors and librarians. Which words use?
- Use General Internet Search Academical - Google and Wikipedia can help you find out the keywords and concepts for your topic. Here start your research, not where you want to end!
- be creative - imagine the perfect article for your topic. What could it be called?
- Use the tools in databases to help you. Most databases offer "Search Search", links to "subject headings" and other tools that help you think about your topic in a new way.
- think like a journalist. Ask yourself: Who? What? Where? When? and why? The answers can help you find out what aspects of a topic are most interesting for you.
If you write a paper or explore a topic, you must quote your sources. This guide shows you how.
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