After using Background Resources, you should be able to fill out the following "From Topic to Research Focus" formula. NOTE: This is NOT the same as your Thesis Statement. Your Thesis Statement is a statement developed after you read Research Materials about your issue/question, determine your stance, and decide how you will present your attitude/angle/argument.
1) I am researching ______________________________________ (topic)
2) because I want to find out ______________________________(issue/question)
3) in order to ________________________________ (application - So What? - Project/Audience/Purpose driven)
I am researching ways to teach English as a second language (topic)
because I want to find out the most effective strategies available (issue/question)
in order to prepare me to be a better teacher (application - purpose).
I am researching autism in children (topic)
because I want to find out how best to socially interact with them (issue/question)
in order to better accomplish my service learning experience. (application - project).
I am researching genetically modified foods (topic)
because I want to find out if they are nutritionally better than organic foods (issue/question)
in order to produce a brochure summarizing the issues for my Writing 150 class.(application - project).
(Adapted from: Booth, W. C., Colomb, G. G. & Williams, J. M. (2008). The Craft of Research (3rd ed.) Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, p. 51-65.)
To prepare your Research Focus for database searching, use a chart like the chart below and organize it into 2 or 3 concepts. Add quotation marks around phrases; add the truncation symbol to the end of root words to retrieve multiple word endings. For example, the truncation symbol for Scholar Search databases is the asterisk * (for multiple characters) and the question mark ? (for single characters).
(Concept 1) _______________ OR ________________ OR ________________ (Synonymous terms dealing with Concept 1)
(Concept 2) _______________ OR ________________ OR ________________ (Synonymous terms dealing with Concept 2)
(Concept 3) _______________ OR ________________ OR ________________ (Synonymous terms dealing with Concept 3)
(Concept 1) "speech impairment*" OR "articulation impairment*"
(Concept 2) sibling* OR brother* OR sister*