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Research Guides

Teaching & Learning: Topic Development

The Teaching & Learning Guide provides information to help you with your needs as an instructor including class materials, statistics and assessment information, important reminders, and readings and resources.

Example Activities & Lessons

There are many approaches to assist students in developing their research topic; you might help students expand on what they already know or direct them to resources to get ideas and background information on topics others have looked into. Talk with the professor/TA about what approach they prefer.

Here's how UW Librarians are using this lesson objective

When do I teach Topic Development?

Topic development is necessary to teach when:

  • Students have recently received the assignment and have yet to determine what their paper/project will be about. 
  • Students have a broad topic but have yet to focus it into a research question
  • Even if students have research topics, it can be helpful to spend a few minutes talking or writing about their topics to prepare them to begin developing search terms or finding sources
Credit: pixabay

Online Concept Mapping Tools

Here are a few free online concept map tools that you could have your students use during the session. These tools do not require an account unless you want to save the map.