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Becoming A Scholar

This guide shares content relevant to the Becoming A Scholar course, the first year student experience in the Bluffton Blueprint.

The authors of The Craft of Research note that "research follows a crooked path, taking unexpected turns, sometimes up blind alleys, even looping back on itself."  Exploring and refining a topic, choosing types of sources, and thinking about search strategy are all important parts of the process.  The research process can be complex, but when the process is broken down into parts, researchers can manage the process with confidence.

Choosing a Research Topic

From the video, "Choosing a research topic can be one of the most difficult parts of the research process."  Watch this video (produced by Utah State University) to learn how to approach choosing your research topic with confidence.  

A good research topic fascinates you, is creative, and is not too broad or narrow.  Watch this video (produced by Kansas State University) to help you think more carefully about selecting a research topic.  


Keywords are the words, phrases, and terms we use to describe the main concepts, ideas, people, events, and issues we are researching.  A list of relevant keywords will be an important tool in your research efforts.  Watch this video (produced by the University of Houston Libraries) to learn more, and then practice creating a list of keywords with the Topic-to-Keywords worksheet linked from this page.