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Research Methods in Linguistics

This is a library resource guide for LING204 Research Methodology.

Library Literature Research

Identify Your Research Question

Identify Your Research Topic/Question

It is tricky to decide on a proper research question. Here you will find a how-to guide with tools your can use to explore potential research questions.

Step One Evaluate how much you know 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.

 Step Two Read the overview to gain a good understanding of the scope of the topic, what are the subtopics or related topics, key issues, different opinions, key figures, places and so on. Sometimes a concept map (see the example below) will be helpful. When reading, write down the keywords or terms that you think may be useful for your future search.

Step Three Try to select one or two articles to read to collect background information. List additional keywords.

Step Four  Draft a research question and test it in the library searches to see if you can get a proper number of materials on the topic.

Step Five  Test your potential topic by using your keywords and doing searches in Summon or other linguistics databases.

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This work by The University of Victoria Libraries is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License unless otherwise indicated when material has been used from other sources.