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CMC 201 : Public Speaking

Research Process

Fully Understanding Your Topic

Subject= Big Picture

Keyword= Details

Real life examples:  I search for "horcrux."  This is my subject.  My keywords would be things like "cup," "ring," "diary," diadem," "necklace," and "snake." 
 Or, I search for "cars" online. This is my subject, but my keywords could be makes or models, or features like "four door" or "coupe." 

To use that idea in academic research: I am writing a paper about "Abraham Lincoln." He is my subject.  My keywords might be things like "law career," "presidency," "Mary Todd Lincoln," "American Civil War," "Gettysburg Address," or the Emancipation Proclaimation."

Keywords can help you narrow a topic that is too broad, so keep that in mind if you are getting too many results. 


Tips for Reading Academic Sources

Tips for Reading Academic Sources

Don’t just highlight- annotate:  If you want to use a highlighter, make sure you also include a note in the margin about why you are highlighting these particular words.  What does this passage mean in the context of your argument or point? 

Be skeptical:  You don’t have to agree with or believe everything the author says. 

Read it again:  I know, you don’t have time.  However, if you are struggling with a certain reading or a sentence or passage within a reading, reading it a second or third time might help.  (and guess what- your professors sometimes do this too!)  If it helps, give yourself a different purpose or guiding question each time you read it. 

Give yourself time to absorb it:  These readings are difficult.  That’s all there is to it. 

Last Updated: Jul 15, 2024 3:02 PM