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Learn to Research

A guide that will teach you the basic steps to completing research for your assignments.

Choosing a Topic

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What makes a good topic?

  • Something that interests you!
  • Something that isn't too broad or too focused



Look at the keywords in your assignment and brainstorm any words, ideas, or associations that come into your mind. Do this without being critical of what you write, just get all the ideas on paper. 




Draw a concept map

This visual tool will help you identify keywords and organize your ideas.

Image of a concept map starting with the topic of Canadian environmental issues. This idea branches into two other concepts; health and smog. Health branches off to lung problems and auto-immune diseases. Smog branches off into factories and car exhaust. Lung problems branches into cancer and asthma. From one idea, we've been able to generate 8 more ideas to consider for our research.

Refine your potential ideas

Start narrowing your ideas by being more specific with which words you are using.

Focus on: Canada, Health Concern, Lung Problems, Smog...

Narrow the geographical area and make the words more specific.

Refined Topics: 

Canada Alberta, Health Medical Concern, Smog Air Pollution, Lung Problems Respiratory Problems

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