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Research Methods in Psychology: Getting Started

5 steps to research

1. Choose your Topic

Start by choosing a broad topic.

2. Gather Background Information

Before you begin your research, get background information on your topic.  

Start by looking in:

Encyclopedias
Dictionaries
Class textbooks
Check the reference items in the library databases.

3. Focus Your Topic

When writing a research proposal, it is critical to choose a topic that is not too broad.  Narrow the focus of your topic.

Click the tab above for more information.

4. Create a Research Question

Now that you have your topic narrowed, it is useful to phrase it in the form of a question.

This helps you to:

Keep your research focused
Choose resources that provide answers
Develop a thesis statement

5. Create a Search Term List

The last step is to create a list of search terms to use when searching for books and articles in the WNCC Library catalog and databases.

Identify the key terms and concepts in your research question.
Choose related terms for your key concepts.

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