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ESL 400: North Korea Research Paper

Before you start...

Before You Start...

Student sitting at desk thinking

Take a few moments to actually sit down and spend time thinking and writing about your topic.

Ask yourself questions like:

  • What do I already know about this topic?
  • What don't I know?
  • What do I assume?
  • What questions do I want to answer?
  • What do I want to say?

Once you've done that, go back and review what you've written and look for keywords, ideas, and themes to help start your searching.

Creating a Research Roadmap

1. Brainstorm

Think about topics, make notes, look for recurring themes, look for what interests you. Write it all down.

2. Presearch

After you brainstorm do some Google searches and see what's out there, how people are talking about your topic, and other ideas related to your topic. Write that down, too. 

3. Outline

Sketch out an outline of what you hope to say and find. What major points do you want to touch on? Write it down.

4. Ready for Research

Go to the tools you think are best suited for what you need and start searching. Don't be disappointed if you have to rewrite things, change your outline, or adjust your topic. It's all part of the research process.

What is Presearch?

Presearch is the informal searching you might do on a topic before you start your deeper, more focused research. When you're doing your presearch you're finding background information on your topic and creating context for your topic and how you might want to approach it.

You can use ANY kind of presearch resources you want, including Wikipedia, as long as you keep in mind that presearch is informal and some of the resources that you use to educate yourself about your topic are not necessarily appropriate for a college-level paper.

Presearch with Google

Use different combinations of your search terms and try multiple searches. Remember to evaluate the resources you find on Google very carefully and refer to the rules of Evaluating Resources to determine if it's a good fit for your project.

Google Web Search