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Step by Step: Details of the Research Process

Selecting Your Topic

  • Most important... choose a topic that is of interest to you
  • Refer to your assignment for ideas and also for clues as to what is expected in your paper
  • Use your textbook to help you get started; it may be more useful than you realize!
  • Start with a broad topic and as you learn more about it through your background reading, it will be easier to narrow it to fit your parameters
  • Use a Concept Map to help you get started. It is simply a visual way of looking at your ideas and how they relate to each other.  

Watch this 3 minute video from the Belk Library, Appalachian State University to learn how to create your own map:

Background Reading

  1. Do background reading to learn more about your topic.
    1. Start with a specialized Social Work Library Research Guide. These include lists of specialized research tools, what databases might be useful, as well as web sites and other resources.
    2. Use specialized encyclopedias or dictionaries or reference books because they contain valuable background information that might give you ideas on how to narrow a topic, as well as bibliographies that can direct you to other sources on your topic.
    3. Search for review articles on your topic. It will synthesize current research on a topic and lead you to many other sources.

Research Flowchart Review

  1. Select Topic
    1. Do Background Reading
    2. Narrow/Broaden Search
    3. Create Thesis Statement
Last Updated: Apr 9, 2021 3:42 PM