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The first step in the research process is to select a topic. The topic you choose should be neither too broad nor too narrow in scope. Rather, it should be specific with some well-defined boundaries. To help you define a research topic, consult online reference sources, such as scholarly encyclopedias, to learn more about your topic and to find recommended related articles and books on the topic. If, when you search for sources on your topic, you get too many results, you may want to narrow your topic further. If you get too few, you may need to broaden its scope.
Other elements you may want to consider to help you define your topic include:
Geographic Location: Where does the topic take place?
Time Period: When did your topic become important or of issue?
Population Type: Who are the people involved or affected?
Point of view: What is the lens through with you are considering your topic (e.g., economic, social, cultural, biological)?
Oxford Reference is a database consisting of over 180 reference books published by Oxford University Press covering all areas of knowledge. Oxford Quick Reference contains 125 core subject and language dictionaries, and over 16,000 illustrations, including colour photographs, line diagrams, maps, and tables. The database contains entries that are appropriate for students and researchers at all levels.
This resource is limited to five simultaneous CCNY users.