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NEW 102: Global Transformations

Resources to Help You Learn More About Your Topic

There are many resources you can use to start exploring your topic. Below are some of the library databases that might be the most helpful at this stage of the research process.

Short Videos to Help you Refine Your Topic

Choosing a topic and narrowing it to something that is do-able for an academic research paper can be one of the most challenging aspects of doing research.  

Watch this short video for some excellent tips including phrasing your topic in this way to keep your topic appropriately narrow for your assignment:

I'm studying __________

to investigate _____________

in order to understand ____________.

One way to explore and refine your topic, as well as to generate useful keywords, is to create a concept map.

A concept map is a visual diagram that maps actual or possible relationships between different concepts. It can help you narrow your topic from something broad like "vegetarianism" to a more specific research question like, "What are the environmental benefits of vegetarianism, and what steps can we take to encourage people to adopt a vegetarian diet?"  Here is an example of a concept map on the broad topic of "vegetarianism."

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The short video below shows you how to create a concept map.

Concept Mapping Tool

This UA Library online mind mapping tool is a good way to get started with creating your own mind map/concept map.

Alternatively, the Claremont Colleges Library has a good document you can download to create your concept map.

Developing Your Topic Worksheet

This worksheet is designed to take you through a guided set of questions that will help you to choose your topic, narrow it, and identify keywords you might use to search for sources.

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