Developing your Research Topic
- Start with a topic that interests you.
- Get Background Information
- Note keywords, names, places, organizations
- Develop your research question
- Is your research question too broad or narrow (some prelimary searching/reading will help you determine this)
- Develop a thesis statement
Topic keywords: Charter schools
Your Research Question/Interest might be: Do students learn better in charter schools?
Thesis Statement: Students in urban charter schools have better test scores than students in urban public schools.
How to Write a Thesis Statement
In your coursework you are expected to use high quality, scholarly sources of information. The following tutorial will help you understand what scholarly sources are.
Tips for Effective Search Strategies
Searching works best when you have a research question in mind. You should be able to identify key concepts related to your research. These concepts form the basis for your search terms.
Know your topic. Exploring general sources (a chapter in your textbook, an encyclopedia article or other background reading) is a good way to start. The better you understand a topic, the easier it is to evaluate sources.
What is your purpose? Since you are writing a Master's thesis you need to find scholarly resources about your topic. You need to be very thorough in conducting your research.
Start early. Until you have done some searching and reading, you might not recognize if your topic is too broad or narrow.
Don't wait until the last minute. Good resources may not be available locally. Allow yourself time for an interlibrary loan.
Select resources appropriate for your topic. Your professor will insist that you use only peer-reviewed journals.
Have a Question? Contact a Librarian:
The Reference Desk is staffed until 10PM Sunday-Friday and until 8:00pm on Saturday.
Send your question to the Reference Desk via email - email@example.com Allow 24 hours for a response.
Schedule a Research Appointment
Contact the library for an appointment with a Reference Librarian: Schedule Research Help