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Topic Selection for Lib 200: Home: start here

This guide serves as your starting point in identifying a possible topic to explore for the final assignment

Topic Selections

Overview on topic identification for a class project:

  1. Find two topics that interest you within the broad topic headings (tabs) of  social justice, socioeconomic issues, or human rights.
  2. Consider different aspects of the broader topic and identify a narrower research focus on your project

I would like you to find two topics related to a social justice issue. The intention of this assignment is to provide a different approach to selecting a topic for the final assignment. You must explore a diversity related issue, keeping in mind that diversity incorporates a broad range of topics within the categories social justice, socio- economic justice, and human rights.

Inequality and diversity often converge and overlap in what sociologists call intersectionality. Not surprisingly, these issues take on a very interdisciplinary framework across the fields of social work, sociology, psychology, economics, anthropology, criminal justice, and many others.

Some of you may want to further explore a topic of interest from another class. As a reminder, Plattsburgh's academic honesty policy notes Submitting one's work originally completed for a different class is also dishonest unless the current instructor has agreed in advance to accept such a resubmission or reuse of academic work." https://www.plattsburgh.edu/about/offices-divisions/academic-affairs/provost/policies-and-procedures/academichonesty.html So, if you want to explore a similar topic but a different focus, you will need to chat with me. if its a current class, same topic, you will need to speak with your faculty member as well as me.

For the topic selection assignment, you are just identifying two potential topics of interest. I will provide guidance to your on which topic has the most potential.

Topics I will not approve: endangered species, abortion, bullying/cyberbullying, eating disorders.

About Research

The Research Process starts with the identification of a topic of interest. Once the topic is approved by a faculty member, you start to explore how you want to further refine your topic of interest. For this class, explore an overview of your topic can be accomplished by using a subject encyclopedia, explore possible scholarly articles relevant to your topic, as well as searching web resources. I expect that as part of the research process, you will continue to refine and further focus your topic until you have a reasonably manageable topic for the final assignment.

Part of the search process involves using different search strategies such as keywords, synonyms, and other combinations of terms.
example: pregnancy would be a broad term;  prenatal care would be more specific. I highly recommend that you read my feedback on your assignments as I provide suggestions to help you in this area.

Some combinations maybe more successful than others and may be related to the terms (keywords, subject headings) you are using. cars vs automobiles is an example.

As you review different types of resources, you will learn how to identify different components of the resource and evaluate its appropriateness to the assignment.

My assignments are geared towards walking through this process so you can have a successful final assignment. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions along the way.

Diversity Wheel from Gardenswartz and Rowe

Click on the link to see the wheel

When looking at the wheel, consider how one of the layers can help you further focus your potential topic.

For example: the issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous women is a gender issue, a racial/ethnic issue, a human rights issue, it is discussed in Canada and not discussed as much in the United States which relates to a government (federal, state, etc) policy issue. The issue is further complicated by where an incident occurs (on or off tribal lands) the who the perpetrator is (native or non-native).

Potential research questions could include:

What is the role of law enforcement in cases of off-reservation missing and murdered indigenous women?

How do tribes address issues of domestic violence?

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