This guide will help you identify and locate the resources (books, articles, etc.) that you will need for EFL 501. There is also information available on library services, tools, and other web resources to help you write your papers, and more.
Developing a Research Question
When you need to develop a research question, you want to ask yourself: what do you want to know about a topic? Additionally, you'll want to determine:
WHO you are researching,
WHAT you are researching,
WHEN your research topic takes place,
WHERE your research topic takes place, and
WHY you are researching this topic.
Try these steps to formulate a research question:
Check out these links and the video below for more information:
When selecting a topic for your research, ask yourself the following questions:
Will it sustain my interest?
Am I choosing a topic because it seems easy or my friends are doing it?
Does it fit the parameters of my assignment?
How much time do I have and how long does the assignment need to be?
Is credible information on this topic readily available?
Watch this Credo Learning Tools video on How to Select a Topic which is an essential foundational step of the research process. The other videos listed on the Credo Research Quick Tips page from the How to Select a Topic video could also be helpful. Take your time viewing those resources.
Narrowing Down or Broadening your Topic
When you need to broaden or narrow down your topic, ask yourself:
Who am I researching?
Consider age, gender, profession, ethnicity, humans vs. animals vs. corporations, etc.
What am I researching?
Consider potential causes and effects, trends, statistics, problems, etc.
What time period am I interested in?
Consider when the topic became significant, century vs. specific dates, historical vs. current data, etc.
Where is my research topic taking place?
Consider country, state, city, urban vs. rural, environments like prisons vs. college towns, etc.
Why does my research matter?
Consider what makes it important to you, to your colleagues and peers, to your community, to the world, etc.
A mind map is a visual representation of your issue or topic. It is a tool which is used to visualize ideas and opportunities for broadening or narrowing down search topics. Click here for more information on mind mapping.
There are a number of free brainstorming and mind mapping tools available online like Bubbl.us and Popplet. Alternatively, try the mind map available via Credo Reference (click "Mind Map" on the Credo Reference homepage):
Online reference library that provides access to a selection of encyclopedias, dictionaries, thesauri and books of quotations in general and subject-specific disciplines. Credo includes interactive mind maps.