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Teaching Assistants and Research Assistants

Frequently asked questions

Identify Your Research Topic/question

It is tricky to decide on a proper research question. Here you will find a how-to guide and useful tools on exploring potential research questions. I highly recommend you use the guide before coming to the library session.

Step One Evaluate how much you know about the topic and start some test searches to explore the topic

You may use any of the following tools to investigate your potential topic, looking for background information, related issues, and good summaries.

  • Library Encyclopedia : This is a list of online encyclopedia in the library collection, which allows you to browse and search for a topic.
  • Library Search : In the search box, put in your keywords with "overview". For example, "solar activity overview"
  • Wikipedia

 Step Two Read the overview to gain a good understanding of the scope of the topic, which are the subtopics or related topics, key issues, different opinions, key figures, places and so on. When reading, put down the keywords or terms that you think may be useful for your future search. Even better, making a concept map will help you to clearly understand the relationship.

Step Three Try to select one or two more articles to read for collecting backgrounding information. List additional keywords.

Step Four  Draft a research question and bring it with your list of keywords to the library research session.


Concept Map

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