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Prof. Ostman - English 101 -Monsters: The Research Process

The Research Process

Breaking Down The Research Process  

  research process image

The following outline gives a simple and effective strategy for finding information for a research paper and documenting the sources you find. Depending on your topic and your familiarity with the library, you may need to rearrange or recycle these steps. Adapt this outline to your needs. We are ready to help you at every step in your research.

  1. Choose a topic - or have one assigned
  2. Understand your topic
    • Background reading
    • Consider a main focus
    • Refine your topic
  3. Search Sources
    • Find Books
    • Find Articles
    • Find Websites
  4. Write your paper - Informative, Analytical, Argumentative, Critical
  5. Cite your sources

The Thesis Statement

Although you probably started with only a broad idea of what you wanted to write about, after testing your topic and doing background reading you should be able to narrow your focus and write your thesis statement. Here are two examples of narrowing a broad topic to come up with a thesis statement:


  • Vampires in Popular Culture
    • The "undead" figure prominently in popular media, including literature, film & TV
      • Vampire stories reflect changing societal attitudes about sexuality

The Monstrous

  • Terrorism
    • Psychology of terrorists and the motivation for terrorist acts.
      • Suicide bombers are mentally unbalanced



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