Brainstorming Sources

Brainstorming Sources

Before you jump in and start your research, it is important that you do a bit of thinking and planning about it. Pre-research thinking is essential to making sure you are efficient in your research and to help you focus on the information you actually need. If you’ve planned well, the research you undertake will be easier, take less time and you will likely obtain more targeted and relevant results. Before you complete this assignment, make sure you have read p. 42-63 in Chap. 2 in Elements of Library Research


1) Look back at your “Choosing a Sub-topic” assignment. From the information you gathered from that assignment, develop three separate questions that you could try to answer by doing research. You will eventually choose one question to focus on, but right now we are just exploring possibilities so you will need to come up with three separate questions. Each of the three research questions must:

a) be a “why” or “how” question

b) be specific and detailed rather than general. To narrow a general question, try limiting your question to a specific time period, a particular region or area, or to a group or class of people. For help, see examples of research questions.

2) Fill in one full Brainstorming Report for each of the three questions, writing out your research question at the top of the page. In filling in the brainstorming reports, pay careful attention to the differences between kinds of information and sources of information, as well as to the differences between primary and secondary sources. Review the discussion in Chap. 2 in Elements of Library Research about these differences if you need to. See also examples of brainstorming reports here: Example Report 1, Example Report 2, Example Report 3