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For your initial post in this discussion, you will consider possible research topics, conduct preliminary research using the Opposing Viewpoints database from the Ivy Tech Library website and develop guiding research questions to help you arrive at a focus for your Research Proposal. Keep in mind this is pre-writing–this discussion board assignment should be helpful in leading you to a topic you are interested in; however, you are not yet committed to any one topic. Feel free to play around with possible ideas here knowing that you can change your research topic if it is not working for you. (Your peers will give you feedback in this discussion that may cause you to reconsider your topic and Module 1 contains assigned readings on other methods to develop a research topic. Likewise, your instructor will provide feedback for you to help you confirm whether you have developed a feasible academic research topic)

For your initial post, do the following:

  1. Identify an issue, problem or controversy that matters to you, or that you would like to investigate in more depth. Need help identifying a topic? Review the readings in Module 01 Readings on the Academic Research Process, especially 6.2 Choosing a Manageable Research Topic, which provides a number of pre-writing prompts to get you thinking about an effective research topic.
  2. Access the Opposing Viewpoints in Context database from the Ivy Tech Library website. Search for articles on your topic and pick at least two (2) articles from the Opposing Viewpoints database to review. Answer at least 3 of the questions in your discussion post, contributing both your own thoughts and information you cite from the articles you found on the topic. (Be sure to cite the articles as needed using APA or MLA style, as indicated by your instructor):

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  • Why are you personally interested in or curious about this topic? (both explain your personal concern for this topic and connect that concern to information contained in the articles you found.)
  • Why do you think this topic matters now, based on what the articles say? What people, groups, and/or organizations does it matter to? Why?
  • Based on the articles, what are some specific areas of conflict or disagreement among experts on this topic? What is your understanding so far about why these conflicts or disagreements exist?
  • Describe at least two different perspectives or opinions on the topic, as described in the articles. To what extent to you agree and/or disagree with these perspectives? Why?
  • What in the articles surprised you? What ideas or information did you react strongly to? Explain why.
  • What are some questions that you still have regarding this topic? What do you still need to know in order to formulate an informed opinion on the topic.
  1. Based on your responses to the above prompts, formulate 2-3 guiding research questions on your chosen topic.

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