COM 145: Get Started
Selecting a topic
Look through your readings or the news for ideas on what to write about. What sounds interesting to you? What do you want to know more about?
Research something that is personal. What are you interested in? What makes you angry? What needs to change in the world? The possibilities are endless.
Developing the proper keywords is a crucial step in the research process. Use the overview stage to help you find the best terms for searching and to develop a search strategy.
Hunter College Video on Search Strategy and Keywords. (5 1/2 Minutes)
Research is a process. It can/should take more time and effort than simply plugging a few keywords into Google and taking the top three hits.
Work broad to narrow. Gain an overview of your topic before you delve deep
Always "be researching" -- Look carefully at what your sources are telling you; use them to guide your research.
The Librarians are here to help you. Use them as a resource!
Getting Started: Encyclopedias & Dictionaries
Begin your research by searching for background information on your topic, using one of the Reference Databases listed below.
- Google Search -- Search around on Google to practice your keywords and see if there is information on your topic. Get an overview by reading a short web article.