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Shapiro Library

GLS 470 - Writing the Research Paper

This guide will help you identify and locate the resources (books, articles, etc.) that you will need for GLS 470. There is also information available on library services, tools, and other web resources to help you write your papers, and more.

Broadening or Narrowing Your Topic


When you need to broaden or narrow down your topic, ask yourself:

Who? - Who am I researching?

  • Consider age, gender, profession, ethnicity, humans vs. animals vs. corporations, etc.
  • For example: My topic is on homeschooling elementary age children.

What? - What am I researching?

  • Consider potential causes and effects, trends, statistics, problems, etc.
  • For example: My topic is on the reasons for the recent increase in parents choosing homeschooling for their children.

When? - What time period am I interested in? 

  • Consider when the topic became significant, century vs. specific dates, historical vs. current data, etc.
  • For example: My topic is on the differences in homeschooling in the 1980s vs. today.

Where? - Where is my research topic taking place? 

  • Consider country, state, city, urban vs. rural, environments like prisons vs. college towns, etc.
  • For example: My topic is on homeschooling in urban vs. rural environments.

Why? - Why does my research matter?

  • Consider what makes it important to you, to your colleagues and peers, to your community, to the world, etc.
  • For example: My topic is on homeschooling and how new parents can get stared with homeschooling their kids.