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CMP-125 (Rosenbaum, Spring_2020)

Research Writing

Identify your Topic

Questions regarding the topic chosen:

What are the main arguments presented in the source?

What topics are covered in the article?

What is the central argument of the article or book?

Why are you using this source in your paper?

Do you agree with the author's arguments? Disagree? Or partially agree?

How might the author's analysis help you shape your argument?

Has it changed how you might think about your topic?


  1. Victorian belief in the supernatural.
  2. 19th century identification and treatment of “madness.”
  3. 19th century education of the rich.
  4. Influence of literature/film/or television on children.
  5. Women and employment in the 19th century.
  6. The ivory trade.
  7. King Leopold and the Belgian Congo.
  8. “Apocalypse Now” and Heart of Darkness.
  9. The policy of “appeasement.”
  10. Sir Oswald Moseley and the brown shirts.
  11. The abdication of Edward the 8th.
  12. Hyperinflation.
  13. Veterans and homelessness.
  14. Veterans and suicide.
  15. The “Kindertransport.”
  16. The impact of 1918’s Treaty of Versailles.
  17. Anti-Semitism in Britain
  18. The problems inherent in translating a novel to film.
  19.  Domestic servitude before World War I.
  20.  Inheritance in the 19th century.
  21. Alcoholism as an occupational hazard.
  22. The minimum wage.
  23. The history of piece work.
  24. The history of formal and informal adoption.
  25.  Back channel diplomacy.
  26. Retirement before social security or other governmental pensions

As you identify relevant keywords related to your topic, it may be helpful to find some background information to gain a good overview and better understanding of the context of your topic.

Conducting some brief background research can help you in finding additional terminology related to your topic, as well as specific events, dates, and names related to your topic.

Some online reference resources to try:

Credo Reference

"...access to 600+ encyclopedias, handbooks, guides and dictionaries.  These reference works cover a wide swath of topics including, science and medicine, etc.

Gale Virtual Reference Library

"A collection of encyclopedias and other reference sources which covers a variety of topics..."

If you are not finding enough information, your topic may be too narrow.


Consider broadening it by exploring related issues, adding another element to the topic, or expanding the area covered. Use truncation and the boolean connector, OR, to expand your topic.

If you are finding too much information, your topic may be too broad.

Consider narrowing it by time period, geographic location, or population.

The videos and information below will help you expand or narrow your searches.

A. Truncation(shorten a word and use of a symbol such as an asterisk (*) or question mark (?)) to search for multiple endings of root words.

Example: influen* would search for influence, influences, influential


B. BOOLEAN Connectors: AND, OR, NOT are connecting operators that tells the computer to expand (OR), limit (AND), eliminate (NOT) concepts when searching.

Capitalize your connectors AND/OR

Example: veterans AND homelessness [both terms need to be in results; narrows topic]

Example: impact OR influence [either term or both terms can be in results; broadens topic]


C. Phrase search involves a concept that has more than one word and quotation marks around the terms defines the term.

Example: "piece work"