When developing your topic or research question, ask yourself:
In the early stages, you may find it helpful to write your topic as a title and include a brief description and how it could be developed, to define your ideas and plot a course of action. Although your research topic or aspects of it may change, it's still useful to record your thoughts in the form of a 'log,' to remind yourself of how the topic has evolved and to help you avoid retracing your steps.
While thinking about research topics:
To search for more relevant or non-commercial results, limit your search by domain, for example .edu, .org, .gov, .net. Enter your keywords followed by the command site:[domain].
For example, if your topic was "how can the effect of wind turbines on birds and other wildlife be minimized?," you could type:
birds wildlife wind turbines site:gov
Secondary sources provide an overview of your topic/question. Use them to get started.
When you locate a relevant primary source, carefully read the description of the study's methods, results, discussion, and conclusions. Determine if the source pertains to your topic/question and how it helps you answer your question or part of your question. Don't forget to scan the study's bibliography to identify more sources, too!
Try broad searches in these databases to explore a topic or browse by subject.
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