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If your assignment seems baffling, visit this website to learn how to decode your assignment.
Tip 1: Brainstorm a Topic Idea
Make sure to select a topic that you find interesting and that meets the requirements for the assignment. Consider topics related to the field or subject area of the class. If you are in doubt about your selected topic, ask your professor.
Tip 2: Consider Connecting Concepts
After you have brainstormed your broad topic, you will need to consider connecting concepts. For example, if you selected climate change as your topic, you might look into related topics connected to your broad topic, such as, pollution, emissions, environment, fossil fuels, and temperature.
Tip 3: Narrow the Focus
You do not want your topic to be too broad or too narrow. Consider narrowing the focus of your topic. This can include looking into your topic's location, culture, demographics, time period, discipline, etc.
Tip 4: Access Reference Resources
Conduct background research on your topic to help make your final decision. Accessing reference resources, such as encyclopedias and dictionaries, will help provide background information you can use to help make your final decision in selecting a topic.
Doing background research can provide you with:
Who: What notable names, organizations, or groups of people are mentioned in the source? (Ex: Abraham Lincoln, Union Army/Confederate States Army, United Daughters of the Confederacy)
What: Are there specific events mentioned in the source? ( Ex: Civil War, Battle of Fort Sumter)
When: Are specific eras, time periods, or dates mentioned? (Ex: April 1861, mid-nineteenth century)
Where: Does the source mention geologic locations? (Ex: Charleston, South Carolina)
Why: What are the causes of the event(s)? (Ex: Slavery in America, States' Rights, Secession, Industry vs. Farming)
Keyword Brainstorming Tools
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