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Wealth Inequality (ENGL 1B- Leonor)

Defining the Problem

icon of bookWhen researching Wealth Inequality, it's important to define the problem.

Example: Let's say you have selected wealth inequality and health as your topic. How does wealth inequality affect health? Think about:

  • What is the cause of the problem?
  • What is the effect of the problem?

For example, you might think wealth inequality is a problem because it creates unequal access to health care. Then, the problem is defined as the difference in access to health care between the wealthy and those in poverty.

OR, You might think wealth inequality is a problem because of the difference in children's health. Then, the problem is defined as the difference in children's health as a result of wealth inequality.

OR You might think wealth inequality is a problem because of the difference in mortality rate and life expectancy. Then, the problem is defined as the effect of wealth inequality on life expectancy and mortality.

There are many possibilities!

When writing your paper, be sure to include information on causes and effects of your defined problem.

The Research Process (with slides)

mind map image

1. Develop your Research Topic

  • What do you want to find out? What do you want to learn about or discover? Think about all the different parts of your subject and what you want to know about it.
  • Use the Research Worksheet to write down your ideas.
  • Find out some background info or an overview of your topic. Read a wikipedia article (but don't use it as a source for your paper!)

2. Select Keywords from your Research Topic

  • Write down your research topic in a sentence and identify the main concepts
  • Think of other words that could describe the main concepts
  • Create a list of synonyms and phrases that describe your topic and concepts

3. Search the Library's Resources

Search for Books & eBooks: 

  • Books & eBooks provide background research.
  • Background research gives you an overview and helps you to understand the main topic points.
  • Keep track of your sources and citations as you find them.

Search the Databases to find Articles: 

  • Add Keywords to focus your search so that your topic is not too broad or too narrow.
  • Getting too many results? Try narrowing your search by publication date range, so you get the most current results.
  • Keep track of your sources and citations as you find them.

refine results example

4. Evaluate your sources

  • Ask yourself, do the sources fit and support your Research Topic?
  • Are they scholarly or popular sources that fit the assignment requirements?
  • Search again with other keywords!

citation example

5. Create your Works Cited or Reference page

  • A Works Cited or Reference page list your sources and citations.
  • It shows where you got the information to support your Research Topic and gives credit to that person or organization.
  • It also shows that you did not plagiarize or copy someone else's work.

How to find articles

Example research statement

1. Create a Research statement

This can be in the form of a question or a sentence. Just think about what you want to research and write it down in one sentence.

Highlight keywords in research statement

2. Identify the Keywords

Look at your research statement. What are the main words or concepts? They will likely be nouns, and can include phrases. Highlight them.

List of synonyms for keywords

3. Think of synonyms

Look at the words/phrases you highlighted and think of synonyms or alternate phrases to describe those concepts. Scholarly articles often use words that we wouldn’t use in ordinary life.

Searching in EBSCO- use each search box for each concept

4. Search in the databases

Pick two or three words/phrases from your list. Put each concept in its own search box.

Another search strategy alternative using other synonyms

5. Search again!

Try different combinations of words to get different results. Add more words to narrow down your results. Look at the “Subject” headings for each article to see what keywords are being used the most.

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