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You can begin by doing any or all of the following: reading through background information from materials listed in your course syllabus; searching the USC Libraries Catalog to find a recent book on the topic and, if appropriate, more specialized works about the topic; conducting a preliminary review of the research literature using multidisciplinary library databases such as Pro Quest or subject-specific databases from the "By Subject Area" drop down menu located above the list of databases.
A good indication is that you start composing your paper outline and gaps appear in how you want to approach the study. Dartmouth College; How To Write a Thesis Statement. University Library, University of California, Santa Cruz; The Process of Writing a Research Paper. Don't assume or jump to the conclusion that your topic is too narrowly defined or obscure just because you haven’t found any information about it.
This indicates the need to gather further background information and analysis about your research problem. Writing Tutorial Services, Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning. consult a librarian before you consider giving up on finding information about the topic you want to investigate.
You should be thinking about it at the start of the course.
There are generally three ways you are asked to write about a research problem: 1) your professor provides you with a general topic from which you study a particular aspect; 2) your professor provides you with a list of possible topics to study and you choose a topic from that list; or, 3) your professor leaves it up to you to choose a topic and you only have to obtain permission to write about it before beginning your investigation.
From the advanced search option in Pro Quest, a sample search would use "European Union" in one search box, "global security" in the second search box, and adding a third search box to include "debt crisis.": Remember to keep careful notes at every stage or utilize a citation management system like End Notes or Ref Works. As best as you can, choose a topic that has at least some interest to you or that you care about.
You may think you'll remember what you have searched and where you found things, but it’s easy to forget or get confused. Obviously, this is easier for courses within your major, but even for those nasty prerequisite classes that you must take in order to graduate [and that provide an additional revenue stream to the university], try to apply issues associated with your major to the general topic given to you." The main concepts is this problem are: European Union, global terrorism, credibility [hint: focus on identifying proper nouns, nouns or noun phrases, and action verbs in the assignment description].: Review related literature to help refine how you will approach examining the topic and finding a way to analyze it.If the article record appears, look for a "cited by" reference followed by a number.This link indicates how many times other researchers have subsequently cited that article since it was first published.Here are some strategies for getting started for each scenario.: Identify concepts and terms that make up the topic statement.For example, your professor wants the class to focus on the following research problem: “Is the European Union a credible security actor with the capacity to contribute to confronting global terrorism?Also consider using their synonyms to retrieve relevant articles.This will help you refine and frame the scope of the research problem.This guide is intended to help you organize and write a quality academic research paper.Also included are recommendations regarding how to manage specific course assignments.