Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

English 102 Composition II / Research: Refining Your Ideas

This Research Guide will assist students needing to explore topics before writing a research paper.

Writing the Thesis Statement & Beyond

Doing great research and writing a paper is a winding, circular path, not a linear one!

Your research and your writing will often happen at the same time.

You may find that as you progress you will need to circle back, do more research, or refine your ideas as you go.

The links below might provide some additional help:

SVC Writing & Tutoring Help

Find Academic/Scholarly Articles

Video Tutorials

1 minute tutorials from Credo database

Login with your MySVC/Canvas username and password

Suggestion for Refining Topics

undefinedTry the "Five W's" to help refine your topic:  

The questions below will help you to investigate and narrow down some ideas about your topic. Circle or highlight names, terms, and ideas that interest you the most. You might turn this into a list of search terms or "keywords."  

  • WHO - Who is affected by your topic?  Don't just think of the focus of your topic but who are the other stakeholders that might be impacted?
  • WHAT - What are the causes and effects of your topic?  What impacts might there be?
  • WHEN - Is there a specific time-period that you might focus on? 
  • WHERE - Is there a certain geographic location to focus on?  
  • WHY - Why is this topic important?  Why should your audience care?

(image from the Noun Project "five" by Adam Zubin, MV)

All Content CC-BY.