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HEALTH, AGING & SOCIETY - Research Skills

Research as Inquiry

When choosing a research question consider:

  • Are you interested?
  • Is it relevant?
  • Is it important?


Gather background research on a topic of your choice.

Frame it: 

  • What is the discussion on your topic?
  • What do you already know?
  • What needs to be explored further?


  • Is the question too broad or narrow?
  • Can it be answered?


Evaluate Your Research Question

When deciding your research question think about:

  • What type of information do I need to answer this question?
  • What sources have the information that I am looking for?
  • Where can I find these source and can I access them?

The Stages of Developing a Research Question

1. Pick a topic

⇒     ⇒     ⇒     ⇒

        2. Narrow the topic

        ⇒     ⇒     ⇒     ⇒

                3. List some questions

                ⇒     ⇒     ⇒     ⇒

                        4. Pick a question

                        ⇒     ⇒     ⇒     ⇒

                                5. Focus the question



Core Research Concepts

This video explains why we should critically analyzes sources of authority in our research and daily lives. (3:09)

Transcript (PDF) | Transcript (.docx)

This video looks at the information cycle and how it impacts the availability of resources on a topic. (2:58)

Transcript (PDF) | Transcript (.docx)

This video evaluates the commodification of information in a community of scholarship. (2:55)

Transcript (PDF) | Transcript (.docx)

This video considers scholarly research as an iterative process. (2:30)

Transcript (PDF) | Transcript (.docx)

This video looks at the many ways university students are active participants in academic discourse. (2:38)

Transcript (PDF) | Transcript (.docx)

This video explores how to strategically approach the research process. (3:17)

Transcript (PDF) | Transcript (.docx)

Choosing an Essay Topic

This video describes how to come up with a research topic, or research question, for an essay. (2:32)

Transcript (PDF) | Transcript (.docx)

Choosing Keywords

This video explains how to choose keywords for database searching when doing research. (2:43)

Transcript (PDF) | Transcript (.docx)

Choosing keywords. Describe the Research Topic: Consider phrasing your topic as a question to guide your research. What are the main concepts/themes/theories that you are interested in exploring? Example: How does the media cover student protests? Identify Main Concepts: Identify the main concepts in your description (usually verbs and nouns). Avoid using relational words such as: affect, cause, impact. Example of main concepts from the prior research question: student, protest, media Brainstorm related words: What other words or phrases may be used to talk about your main concepts? Example: student: university, college, undergrad, grad. Protest: boycott, demonstration. Media: news, television, broadcast, CBC.

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