Start with a general topic. What topics or issues are you interested in exploring? Your general topic may be a single word or short phrase. Example: video games
Need ideas? Reading the news is a great way to get topic ideas for further research.
Get background information on the topic. Start with objective, fact-based information by reading reference sources, such as subject-specific encyclopedias and handbooks.
Limit To: Reference
Ask a question that will guide your research. Now that you have foundational knowledge on your topic, what questions would be interesting to investigate further? A strong research question will involve more than merely regurgitating information gathered; it will require you to make a decision or solve a problem. The sources that you select and use in your paper will help you to 1) answer your research question and 2) support your answer to the research question. Your informed answer to the research question will become your paper's thesis statement .
narrow your research question or topic,
ask some of the 5Ws:
What specific questions do you need to answer to address your main research question? These questions will help you determine the types of sources you will need to consult.
Finding Sources - Now that you have developed a strong research question, determine the sources that will give you authoritative information to answer the question. Click here for a list of different source types and where to find them.
(cc) "Any Guesses?" by Raymond Larose on Flickr.com
(cc) "sensitive noise / obvious 2" by milos milosevic on Flickr.com
(cc) "Intersection" by Voxphoto on Flickr.com