When you begin a research project, you are doing more than just reiterating what you find in other sources. The research process requires that you are able to:
Some considerations when thinking about your research question:
[inspiration: Bean, J. C. (2011). Engaging ideas: The professor's guide to integrating writing, critical thinking, and active learning in the classroom (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.]
When you are first investigating a topic, it is helpful to ask questions about it in order to focus in on what it is you are really interested in learning, reading, and writing about. For example, consider the following:
A bubble chart, mind map, or concept map can help you brainstorm different ways that your topic can be narrowed or broadened. Using one of these simple tools to visualize your search can help you see connections that you did not know were there previously.