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RACE & ETHNIC STUDIES: Academic Inquiry

What is "the literature"?

How we distinguish between popular and scholarly information sources in order to select the sources whose purpose, authority, and audience are consistent with our information needs

From Topic to Research Questions

"The word research means “finding out” or “discovery”, by use of systematic effort, information or answers to something you want to know. You cannot research if you do not want to know anything; i.e., you must have something you would like to know more about before you can do research. "

Moving From An Interest to a Research Question, Harvard University.


Learn more about narrowing a topic and developing a research question.

Joining the Scholarly Conversation

Research Process

  • Research doesn't happen in a straight line from start (assignment prompt) to finish (polished paper/presentation).
  • Research includes finding background information to help you shape your ideas.
  • Research incorporates analyses from journalists and scholars, whose ideas help you reframe and revise your research questions.
  • Research includes making evaluative decisions about which and whose perspectives to incorporate into your own scholarship.


Disciplinary Research