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Peer Review

Developing a Topic

by Jen Klaudinyi


Overall Rating:

5 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 4.75 stars
Reviewed: Oct 13, 2013 by Library and Information Services
Overview: This tutorial assists students with developing a topic for their research papers. It tells in a step-by-step way how to start a research paper by describing how to actually develop a topic idea. It tells ways to come up with ideas.
Learning Goals: The tutorial teaches students how to form a topic and thesis for a research paper, how to brainstorm approaches for the paper, and then how to organize the ideas generated through brainstorming by broadening or narrowing topics.
Target Student Population: High school or undergraduate students
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: None.
Type of Material: Tutorial
Recommended Uses: Individual learning,or English Comp library orientation class
Technical Requirements: Flash

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The tutorial clearly and concisely articulates how to begin the process of writing a research paper. It provides good examples to illustrate the ideas presented. It describes the difference between using the free web (Google and Wikipedia) and subscription based library databases.
Concerns: None.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The table of contents clearly outlines the topics covered in the tutorial. The tutorial advances in a logical order and builds on topics to illustrate the typical process of topic formation and refinement. This tutorial's introduction covers what will be learned by studying the tutorial. It builds on prior concepts and assignments could be developed for use with the tutorial. A lot can be learned in a short time.
Concerns: None

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: The tutorial begins with instructions on how to navigate within the tutorial. It also prompts users to advance the slides at the appropriate time. has good clear instructions about how to use it. The instructions are on each page. It uses relevant graphics and is interactive.
Concerns: The tutorial is not very visually engaging. Graphics are minimal.

Other Issues and Comments: Overall, this is a solid tutorial presenting a basic concept in writing research papers.