It's important to begin your research by learning something about your subject; in fact, you won't be able to create a focused, manageable thesis unless you already know something about your topic.
This step is important so that you will:
Reference sources are scholarly sources filled with thorough yet concise discussions that let you know the “who, what, when, why, and where” information on your topic right at the start of your research.
Top Picks for Background Reading:
Why Research Questions?
Research questions help you focus your topic and give you a series of questions that you'll spend your research time answering. You'll create your questions based on the background reading that you do.
Watch the video below for more information on the benefits of created research questions.
Here's an example of questions that I would use to define and focus my research on interpersonal communication and social media.
Broad Topic: The effect of social media on self esteem and behavior
Research Questions to Define Your Topic
MJC Librarian, Kathleen Ennis, explains why you should always begin your search for relevant, credible information by creating a list of research questions that will drive your research quest.
Searching can be more successful if you find a variety of words to describe what you are researching. For example, the APA uses a Thesaurus specific to psychological published research. This is in print, and is also available on the EbscoHOST database called PscyINFO under Thesaurus.
CQ Researcher provides articles researched on a wide variety of current topics, such as "traumatic brain injury" and "autism" You can read the articles to gain an overview on the issues related to that topic. The Bibliography and Next Steps sections provide information on other sources you can go to.