In 2-3 pages, outline what you're interested in researching and how you want to go about researching it.
In 12-15 pages, develop your prospectus. Structure your draft in the following way:
Research Question: "How does media affect voting in young people?"
The first step is to identify the most important parts of the question, the keywords, that get to the base of what we what to research.
Keywords: media voting young people
Now we need to brainstorm some of the different ways we can think about these key concepts. Those alternate keywords can be synonyms, broader, or more narrow terms.
|Media might generate a list like:
|Voting might generate a list like:
And young people might generate a list like this:
high school students
18-24 years old
Television is one type of media, and a talk show is one type of television program; the terms get more narrow. Civic engagement is a broader category under which voting might rest. And youth is just another way of saying young people. All of these are legitimate ways of coming up with alternate keywords. You never know which one will be best for a particular database or website until you start looking! What works well in one, might not go over very well in another.
You can use the worksheet below to explore options for your own topic.