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Prof. Dodington - English 101 - Rage Against The Machine: Background Information

What can you gain from background research?

  • Words or phrases that are specific to your topic.
  • Major ideas related to your topic
  • People places, time periods that are relevant to your topic
  • Additional readings on your topic
  • Information thats answers basic information on your topic (the who, the what, the where, the when)

Reference Databases for Background Information

Databases and online resouces to help focus your research question

The following databases are excellent places to browse for a topic and begin your research. Log-in when off campus using your MyWCC username and password. 

In Room for Debate, The Times invites knowledgeable outside contributors to discuss news events and other timely issues. Reader comments are moderated Monday through Friday.

Provides researchers with an introductory overview; background and chronology on the topic; an assessment of the current situation; tables and maps; pro/con statements from representatives of opposing positions; and bibliographies of key sources.

Developing Research Questions

As you start  reading about topic you should start thinking of questions you want to answer with your research. 

Your questions should include the "Who, What, Where, When, How and Whys" of a topic.  At the start of research they should ask very general question about your topic such: The first set of databaes should provide answer to basic questions on your topic (such as bullying) such as

What is _________?

Where does it take place?

Who is affected by _____________?

As you read more about your topic you question should get more specific  your question should get more specific

 What are the causes of ________________?

What are the effects of ________________?

What are the “pro” arguments about_______________?

What are the “con” arguments about ______________?

What should be done about ______________?

These questions will help guide you as you complete your research and form the content of your speech.