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1.1 Define your topic

Determine your information  needs
* 1.1 Define your topic
1.2 Increase familiarity with your topic
1.3 Map your ideas
1.4 Types of assignment
1.5 Amount of information
1.6 Types of sources
1.7 Types of publications
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Before you begin looking for information, you should identify:

  • the assignment topic
  • the concepts and terms that describe the topic
  • the amount of information required
  • the type of information required

Directive or task words indicate what you have to do. e.g. compare, discuss, explain.

Limiting words make your task more specific. Limiting words can provide general constraints such as discuss one aspect, specify importance such as what is the main cause, or indicate specific time frames such as in the last two years, or in the 1980s.

Key Concepts are what you are left with after you remove the directive words and the limiting words from your topic.

This process helps to define your topic and answer the specific question at hand, rather than generally discussing the topic. Now you need to increase familiarity with your topic.

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 Last modified 26-Apr-2006
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