Task Conduct some preliminary research

Learning Goal: I’m working on a writing question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.


Conduct some preliminary research on your topic and share what you’ve found in the Discussion Board here. Share the topic of your research paper and why you chose this specific topic? If you have not yet settled on a topic, explain why and ask your peers for advice. Also, comment on two of your peers’ responses. Provide advice or ask questions that will help your peer refine his/her topic.

Here are some additional resources to help you narrow down your research topic and formulate research questions.

How to Narrow a Topic and Write a Focused Paper

How to Develop a STRONG Research Question https://youtu.be/71-GucBaM8U


In order to narrow down your topic, it is time to start reading up on your topic.

As you read, note any discussions that seem important to the topic, and try to find an issue that you can focus your paper around. Use a variety of sources, including journals, books and reliable websites, to ensure you do not miss anything glaring.

Do not only verify the ideas you have in mind, but look for sources that contradict your point of view.

  • Is there anything people seem to overlook in the sources you research?
  • Are there any heated debates you can address?
  • Do you have a unique take on your topic?
  • Have there been some recent developments that build on the extant research?
  • In this stage, you might find it helpful to formulate some research questions to help guide you. To write research questions, try to finish the following sentence: “I want to know how/what/why…”
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