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ANT 4552 and ANT 4553 Primate Courses

Research is a Process

Research is Process:

  • Be strategic; don't just start Googling and take the first 10 sources you find
  • Take the time to develop a good thesis and brainstorm your keywords (don't shortcut this process)
  • Save your searches and save your citations
  • Think critically about your sources
  • Good research takes time; do the work and don't wait until the last minute (you may need something that we can only get through Interlibrary Loan)

Choosing a topic

When choosing a topic, pick something that interests you. Browse your textbook and the list of topics provided by Dr. Peters, or begin with some exploratory searching in Google Scholar

These two articles list the biggest questions that primatologists have been asking.  These are also good examples of clear and concise research questions (or thesis statements):

Exploring Wikipedia and reference articles can also be helpful when selecting or narrowing your topic. Wikipedia has a number of summary articles on primates. While you are reading, take notes of key words and citations that you will use when searching for scholarly materials (do not use Wikipedia as a source). 

These two reference works search across hundreds of encyclopedias, handbooks, and dictionaries, and they provide citations for you to use in your research:

Thesis & Keywords

Developing a clear and concise thesis or research question will help you to focus your research and your writing.  

  1. Write out your thesis statement or question in one clear sentence
  2. List the keywords from your thesis and brainstorm alternatives and synonyms (you will use these keywords for your searching)

Here is an example:

  1. Research question:  What information can bonobos convey in vocalizations?
  2. Keywords:  Bonobo, pan paniscus, vocalization, vocalize, communicate, communication, baby-talk, motherese, grunting, speech, sounds, meaning
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