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ENGL B1A: Criminal Justice: Getting Started

Although this guide was originally developed for Professor Wong's ENGL B1A class researching criminal justice, it also works well for any classes reading Incarceration Nations.


Before you start your research, you need to create a narrow research topic or question that fits the scope of your assignment.  You also need search terms that describe your topic so that you can use them to find sources for your topic. This page will help you do these things.

Narrowing Your Topics

Picking Your Topic IS Research

Narrowing Your Topic

Examples of Narrowing Down Your Topic

Use the last column to help you develop your essential question.  

Essential Question=the question your paper is trying to answer

Further Topic Narrowing Help

Questions You Should Be Asking (especially for Professor Wong's class)

What problems or concerns are involved in your topic?
•What solutions currently exist or have been proposed?
•What needs to be changed to resolve the problem?
•What are your main supporting points?
•What do you hope to discover in your research process?
•Who is your audience, and how can your investigation be of use to them?

Further Topic Narrowing Help