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CRJ 101: Behavior Theories Paper

2. Explore Your Topic

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

Analyze Your Topic

Magnifying Glass

Who

Think about who might be involved in your theory. This could be specific people, but it could also be groups of people - consider different groups based on age, race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status (wealth), who may be affected (good or bad) by your theory. Does your theory work better for certain groups of people than others?

What

Consider what factors are involved in your theory. Read some background information or a summary to learn more about your topic, and then make a list of relevant factors.

The background reading can also provide you with keywords, specialized vocabulary, and definitions, which will be useful for future searches.

When

Are you looking at your theory during a specific time period? For instance, are you looking at a historic case that aligns with your theory or are you looking at your theory during modern day? Be sure you know what dates and times are involved in your theory because that will affect how you write about them. 

Where

Sometimes places or geography are important to your theory. Are you considering cases in the United States or another country? The situation can be quite different in some countries than it is here.

Why

This is a really important one. Why do people care about this theory? Why is it important or controversial? What's at stake? or Why did it happen / is it happening?