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ENGR 100 Library Assignment: Part 1: Selecting a Topic & Forming a Research Question

This guide provides resources to help you with your Engineering 100 library assignment.

Research as a Conversation

Like any good conversation, research needs knowledgeable people.  An exciting aspect of academic research is that you can share a dialogue across time.  Great thinkers throughout history can still be your discussion partners.  Part of the skill needed for research is knowing how to choose your partners wisely.  You probably would not wish to strike up a conversation with the first person you meet walking down the street.  Likewise, you do not want to begin your academic research with the first or most easily accessible information you can find.

Library Pre-Test

Please take the Library Pre-Test.
It's located in your COSU 100 Blackboard course.

Background Sources: Online Encyclopedias & Dictionaries

The library can help you find the right kinds of discussion partners.  One logical place to start is with a good background source such as an encyclopedia or dictionary, especially if the topic is new to you.

Engineering Background Sources

Assignment Part 1: Research Topic & Forming a Research Question

The information given in this section will help you to complete the first part of your library assignment.

  1. Define a research topic.
  2. Refine your topic and formulate a research question related to your topic.

Tutorial: How to Choose a Topic and Develop a Research Question

This short tutorial, from the library at Wilfrid Laurier University, walks you through how to develop and narrow a topic by creating a research question.

Coming Up with a Research Topic

A great way to come up with a research topic is simply to keep current on what's happening in your field of interest.  Try browsing news articles online to find a topic of interest.

Ask a Librarian

If you need assistance finding or using these resources, Ask a Librarian!





More Resources

Podcast- The Research Process: An Interview with Dr. Jaclyn Stanke