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English 102 | Online



Brainstorming your topic is the start of any research process. This is when you're trying to figure out what topic you're interested in and see what kind of information is out there about it. Resources like Credo Reference, CQ Researcher, and Wikipedia are great places to get started with the pre-research process.

Developing a Research Question

When starting your research, it is important to develop a research question to keep your searches structured and to keep the scope of the resources you find relevant. A research question is a question that you would like answered about broad topic.

Things to consider:

  • What questions do you want to answer? Are these questions new and innovative?
  • What audiences do you want to reach and how do you want them to be influenced?
  • What is the purpose of the research you want to use to test your hypothesis?


Keywords are phrases or terms that search engines use to find resources by matching search terms entered to indexed terms in the record. Build your keywords by pulling out the main points of your research questions and by developing additional terms that describe the articles you are hoping to find.

Developing your Topic