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Thinking Critically At NC A&T SU

A guide to resources that support the five learning outcomes of NC A&T's QEP.

Focus on the information need


Focus on the information need

Ø Plan the experiment or project.

Ø Define terms in a way appropriate for the context.

  • What is my assignment or the information problem to be solved?

  • What questions am I raising or addressing?

  • Do I understand the concept I am reserching?

  • What types of information do I need to answer the questions?

  • What keywords and alternate search terms are pertinent to my questions?

  • How will I organize my search plan?

  • How many references do I need?

  • What format will I use to present the results?


Resources for Focusing

Tips for Research Success  This short video demonstrates that understanding the requirements of your assignment and knowing the type of information that is needed are key to being successful.

Determine the Information Requirements

Are you sure you know exactly what you need to do in your assignment? Do you know what information will help?
Define the Research Topic Getting started with your research means identifying your topic.
Choosing a Topic Knowing where to look for ideas will help you find an interesting topic.
Learn Something about the Topic This is probably the only time that Wikipedia is recommended! A wikipedia article is a great way to gain a little understanding about a topic so that you can more effectively search for information that you will actually use in your research.
Brainstorming Techniques Need help focusing the topic? Try brainstorming.
Broadening the Topic If you don't find enough (or any) information, you might have to broaden your topic.
Narrowing the Topic If you find way too much information, you might have to narrow your topic.
Having trouble getting started? Let O.W.L help you ask the right questions.
Framing Your Research Questions You have a topic, now what was the question??? How to come up with good research questions for your project.
Graphic Organizers Everything you wanted to know about graphic organizers and how to use them to help with your research and learning.
Keywords and Search Terminology Don’t start searching until you have a search strategy in mind. This website will help you learn how to build an effective search term to use in catalogs, databases, or on the Internet.
Boolean Machine Exactly how does a Boolean operator work, anyway? Take a look at this and see!
Ask an Expert Need help designing a research strategy? Ask a librarian! They love this stuff!