FYE 112: Africana American Studies II: Develop

Professor Cona Marshall. Spring 2018.

How do I...?

Often, the hardest part of research is  getting started or developing a topic.   Consider the following when you're developing your topic:

    Pick a topic that's interesting to you. Research is much more enjoyable if you care about your topic.


Knowledge.    You don't need to know much about your topic--even a little bit of knowledge, however, does help. 


Explore.   Look at your textbook or class notes.  Talk with a friend or family member.  Browse the table of contents of core African American journals:  Black Scholar,  Ethnic and Racial StudiesJournal of African American HistoryJournal of African American Studies, or Western Journal of Black Studies.


Focus.     Make sure your topic is not too broad (racism) or too narrow (stop and frisk in Annville, PA)  It's always a good idea to test drive a topic before you commit.  Are you drowning in too many results?   Or did you find very little information?  After you've done a bit of research, it is common to find that you need to refine your topic


Guidelines.    Read your assignment carefully.  Must the topic be related to the course?  Can you choose a topic?  The assignment should provide some guidance in topic choice.  If it doesn't, talk with either your professor or with a librarian.

Image source: Rapple, Brandon. Choosing a Topic. Boston College.