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GEOG 1972 Environment-Society Geography: Getting Started

Getting Started

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Focus Your Topic

Once you've determined a topic, issue or subject of interest, you'll need to narrow the topic into a researchable question. Here are some helpful tips:


  • Choosing good search terms is important. Take a few moments to brainstorm a list of keywords for your topic.
  • Think about your topic. Identify related issues, people, events, etc.
  • List what you already know about your topic, and what you'd like to know.
  • Identify main concepts and keywords related to your topic. Make a list.
  • Determine what perspective you'll take on your topic.

Mind Mapping

Mind mapping allows you to collect, organize and structure your ideas for a research paper.

Make your own mind maps with Mindomo.

Background Sources

Spending a little time with background sources and encyclopedias at the beginning of your search process can save you time in the long run. They can give you the big picture before you start getting into really granular articles, help you see what experts are talking about your topic, and often help you find great books and articles.