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EXPOS 20: The Social Construction of Gender


I am not sure what topic to choose...

Getting a research project off the ground can be daunting. You might have a thousand ideas and a hard time deciding, or you may draw a complete blank. Consider these tips to help you get settled on a topic and begin gathering some general information:

  • Research is like adding your voice to an ongoing conversation, so what do you enjoy talking about in this class?
  • Pay attention to what's going on in the world large and small: political conflicts in the news, your Instagram feed, a conversation at the table next to you, etc. Do any of these tidbits connect to what you've been talking about in this class?
  • So what happens if you Google "social construction of gender" and go to page 100 of your search results?
  • What are you curious about?

I have an idea...

So you got an idea...maybe a concept that intrigues you, a fact you find noteworthy, a question you are pondering--write it all down, no matter how unrefined it may be at this stage. Begin building (and rebuilding) your concept map. A concept map is a visualization of any ideas related to your main topic. Start with high level concepts and/or anything that comes to mind. Then organize, reorganize, and refine. Here are some visual examples from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

I have chosen a topic already...

Once you have a concept map of your topic, identify key concepts and use them to search strategically in HOLLIS, subject databases, or get the most out of Google Scholar by signing in and linking to Harvard Library.