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HIST 102 - History of the United States Since 1865 - Mo

This guide will help you with your research assignment for Eva Mo's History 102 course

Inquiry Driven Research

What Are You Trying to Figure Out?

Research works best when it is tackled with the true spirit of inquiry. What are you ultimately trying to figure out in regards to your topic?  Are you trying to gain an overview of of a brand new topic, or understand something familiar with greater depth and clarity? Are you trying to develop a new idea or find the best arguments for or against an existing idea? Are you trying to find a solution to a problem? Approaching research through the lens of inquiry is a great way to keep you motivated. You aren't just looking for information, you're looking for ANSWERS!

Preliminary Reading: Getting Acquainted With Your Topic

It's important to begin your research learning something about your subject; in fact, you won't be able to create a focused, manageable thesis unless you already know something about your topic.

What are others saying and writing about your topic? What different issues or ideas really interest you enough to focus your research on? Who is writing about your topic?

Recommended Sources for Learning About Local History:

Recommended Sources for Placing Your Local Topic Within a National Context:

Creating Research Questions

You want to approach your research as a quest to uncover answers to questions that didn't exist before. Seeking information to answer research questions is fun and it helps you explore your topic fully.

Research questions help you:

  • Outline the "flow of your paper." They help you organize your research so that you have a beginning, middle, and end of the story your research project will tell.
  • They help you create "targeted" research queries so that you can find exactly the information you need to tell your story.
  • They help you keep track of the information you've found and the information you still need to find to complete your story and support your thesis.

Creating Research Questions infographic