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BIO 101 - Research Project

2. Explore Your Topic

After thoroughly examining your assignment, now it's time to look for some initial background research on your topic. Your paper and presentation should teach your classmates about your topic. Try a search in the following database to learn more about your topic.

Analyze Your Topic

Magnifying Glass

As you read and explore, take notes on the concepts and ideas that interest you. Write down what questions you have or areas that need further reading/exploration.

If you start with a large topic, write down potential sub-topics or smaller aspects that might make it a good topic for your paper. Think about what you would want to write and talk about in the Discussion section of your paper and presentation. Depending on your topic this might include: causes of a disease, symptoms, treatments, both sides of the story, why is it controversial, any relevant legislation, interesting points, why it has been in the news lately, etc. 

Also consider the following questions that will help your narrow and search for information later:

  • Write down any special vocabulary words that you'll need to know to read further about this topic (they also might make good search keywords later).
  • What questions come to your mind when you are reading?
  • What information would someone need to know in order to understand this topic?