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FSEM 078: Sustainable Living and Learning (Kinne and Drennan): Getting Started

Related Topic Guides

Finding Peer-Reviewed Articles

Resources in the HWS Library

Your Research Question

What is a research question?
A research question is the question around which you center your research. It should be:

  • clear: it provides enough specifics that one’s audience can easily understand its purpose without needing additional explanation.
  • focused: it is narrow enough that it can be answered thoroughly in the space the writing task allows.
  • complex: it is not answerable with a simple “yes” or “no,” but rather requires synthesis and analysis of ideas and sources prior to composition of an answer.
  • arguable: its potential answers are open to debate rather than accepted facts.

 

Steps to developing a research question.

  1. Make sure you are clear on the parameters of your paper. How long is your paper? How much time do you have to devote to your project? What types of sources will you be using? What type of evidence will you need to provide?
  2. Choose a topic you are truly curious about exploring in depth.
  3. Do some preliminary research on your topic. What has already been done? What are scholars in your area discussing? Are there any current issues? What questions do you have after exploring your general topic?
  4. Ask open-ended questions about your general topic using "how" and "why" statements. For example, "How does improvisation relate to oral tradition and contribute to regional or localized development of African American cuisine?"  "How do different schools of yoga use improvisation in practice, specifically with regard to asana?"  "How does improvisation contribute to performance and performance anxiety in the entrepreneurial world?"
  5. Evaluate your question. Is it clear?  Is it focused? Will it require research and analysis in order to answer?
  6. Begin your research. What sources will you consult? What keywords will contribute to an effective search strategy?
  7. Refine your question as you continue your research.

Making Appointments

Did you know you can reserve time with one of our research and instruction librarians so they can assist you with your project?

Go to the Research Appointments page to select a date and time for your individualized session.

Jennifer Nace

Jennifer Nace's picture
Jennifer Nace
Contact:
315.781.3017

Joseph Chmura

Joseph Chmura's picture
Joseph Chmura
Contact:
315.781.3015

Library of Congress Classification

Tips for Finding Books on the Shelf

Call number 'LB 2395 .C65 1991' on the spine of a book and in the online catalog

Read call numbers line by line.

LB
Read the first line in alphabetical order:
A, B, BF, C, D... L, LA, LB, LC, M, ML...

2395
Read the second line as a whole number:
1, 2, 3, 45, 100, 101, 1000, 2000, 2430...

.C65
The third line is a combination of a letter and numbers. Read the letter alphabetically. Read the number as a decimal, eg:
.C65 = .65 .C724 = .724

Some call numbers have more than one combination letter-number line.

1991
The last line is the year the book was published. Read in chronological order:
1985, 1991, 1992...