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Brainstorming Sources

Before you jump in and start your research, it is important that you do a bit of thinking and planning about it. Pre-research thinking is essential to making sure you are efficient in your research and to help you focus on the information you actually need. If you’ve planned well, the research you undertake will be easier, take less time and you will likely obtain more targeted and relevant results. Before you complete this assignment, make sure you have read p. 42-63 in Chap. 2 in Elements of Library Research

Learning Objectives:

* Generate research questions based on information gathered from the previous assignment
* Distinguish between kinds of information, sources of information and information formats
* Generate a list of places to look for sources of information
* Infer the kinds of people who would be interested in different information

Assignment Instructions:

1) Look back at your “Choosing a Sub-topic” assignment. From the information you gathered from that assignment, develop three separate questions that you could try to answer by doing research. You will eventually choose one question to focus on, but right now we are just exploring possibilities so you will need to come up with three separate questions. Each of the three research questions must:

a) be a “why” or “how” question
b) be specific and detailed rather than general. To narrow a general question, try limiting your question to a specific time period, a particular region or area, or to a group or class of people. For help, see examples of research questions.

2) Fill in one full Brainstorming Report for each of the three questions, writing out your research question at the top of the page. In filling in the brainstorming reports, pay careful attention to the differences between kinds of information and sources of information, as well as to the differences between primary and secondary sources. Review the discussion in Chap. 2 in Elements of Library Research about these differences if you need to. See also examples of brainstorming reports here: Example Report 1, Example Report 2, Example Report 3

Need more help understanding the differences between Primary and Secondary Sources? See the library tutorial available HERE
3) By Mar. 14th at classtime, submit to the dropbox ONE document that contains all three brainstorming reports (one report for each of your research questions). Please DO NOT submit each brainstorming report in a separate document. Each brainstorming report must be completely filled out.

See Rubric for Brainstorming Sources for information on how your assignment will be evaluated.

Last Updated on February 10, 2019

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