Thursday, February 27, 2014


Start with a  Literature Search which is a thorough search for all types of published literature to identify as many items as possible that are relevant to your topic. From there, you narrow down your topic even further.
This requires a structured approach. So you've selected a topic. Do it now in form of a question...what is it you want to know? Do not be broad as in "I want to know about oil in xxx countries". Rather say, "I want to know about trade barriers to oil production in xxx countries". Then, define the terms in your topic.
Set boundaries of time and space. How far back to you want to go in time? In the case of African countries, you will want to look at the legacy of colonialism of the 19th century, the Cold War, at least briefly as context, but then you want to set very clear time boundaries. So then your research question will be "I want to know what the impact of trade barriers on oil production in xxx countries have been in the last 10 years."
Now you are ready to select your sources...such as government publications, reports, legal documents and journal articles.
To be continued.

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