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Tools for Brainstorming Topics, e.g., First Amendment (U.S. Constitution)
Time Topics - First Amendment (U.S. Constitution)
Recent New York Times content related to the First Amendment. May include articles, Op Ed columns, videos; other. Back up to the Times Topics list for different subjects covered.
USA Today Quick Search
See what First Amendment topics are trending today. Change your search for whatever other "hot topic" you are working on.
- When searching, put quotation marks around phrases or multiple part names (example: "death penalty", "Redgranite Correctional Institute")
- Use truncation or wildcard symbols (* ! ?) to search multiple word endings (example: prison* returns prisons, prisoners)
- Focus or limit a database search by language (English) or to peer-reviewed materials:
- Save the complete source / citation information for articles and books (write down, download/save, email or print) to include in your bibliography
- Log research efforts and save research notes and printouts together in one spot
Creating a Search Strategy
The first step in the research process is to create a search strategy or research plan.
- Define your research topic: Come up with a sentence and/or question that defines your research topic
- Describe your topic using keywords: Select the main concepts or "keywords" that represent or describe your research topic.
- Think of synonyms: or alternate words for the keywords that you have selected (example: death penalty OR capital punishment)
- Combine keywords: Come up with a good starting search for your topic by combining your keywords with "and" (example: gangs and prison)
Once you have a set of keywords and a good search statement, you are ready to begin looking for articles and books.
Background Info. & Research Ideas: CQ.Researcher
In addition to your course readings and discussions, other sources can help you learn more about a topic you are exploring. Visit the reference room of the UWM Libraries, or try out this tool called CQ Researcher.
CQ Researcher provides in-depth reports on political and social issues. Each report :
- Is about the length of a news magazine, but it only covers one topic in-depth
- Is useful for getting a very quick, brief snapshot of the history of an issue and ideas for further exploration
- Has an excellent bibliography section for some “hand-picked” links to more information
CQ Researcher can help you identify an interesting research topic.
- Select "Browse by Topic" and select Constitutional Law and Justice, then select from Crime and Law Enforcement, Sentencing and Corrections, etc.