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Begin your research project by getting organized! Without organization your project will take much longer to complete! Make the most of your time by following the steps and hints within this research guide.
Begin by doing the following:
- Determine your thesis topic and thesis question with the help of your advisor.
- Create a research journal or log to keep track of your research process. Include all the databases you have searched, the type of searches you conducted, and the terms you used. Be sure to include any questions you may have!
- Narrow your topic by considering different aspects of your topic. Examples include: Geographic Area or Setting, Discipline, Industry, Age Group, History, Cultural Group, or Religion.
- Broaden your topic by stepping back and looking at the broader issues. An example would be:
Company data for small business. Many companies do not publish company data. Try stepping back and look at the industry as a whole.
- List all possible keywords and phrases for each concept and aspect of your topic.
Within your Research Log, create a list of terms that are helpful when searching the databases. Don't forget to include alternate spellings, synonyms, and plural forms. A thesaurus is a great tool to help you find synonyms, and a dictionary is great for finding alternative spellings.