Skip to Main Content
George Mason University Infoguides | University Libraries
See Updates and FAQss for the latest library services updates.

CONF 490 - RS: Integration

This guide supports the research needs for students completing their capstone project in CONF 490.

Citations Made Easy with Zotero


Use Zotero to generate accurate citations and quick bibliographies. Get started with these videos:

Do you need a specialized citation style beyond APA, Chicago, or MLA? Check out Zotero's Style Repository for specialized formats.

The Libraries provide workshops to get you started using Zotero. Check the workshop calendar for times and locations.

Need more citation help? Check out the Purdue Online Writing Lab for assistance with citing APA, MLA and Chicago.

Identifying a Topic

A research question is clear, focused, concise, complex and arguable.

  1. Choose a general topic that interests you and conduct preliminary research in newspapers and journals to see what research has already been done. 
  2. Based on your research start asking open-ended questions that start with "How," "What", or "Why".
    • For example, "How did the slave trade evolve in the 1850s in the American South?"
  3. Evaluate the question(s) you identified for clarity, focus and complexity. Your questions should require research and analysis, specific enough to cover the length of the project, and clear enough to direct your research.
  4. Make a hypothesis. What argument do you hope to make? 

The Writing Center provides support with creating research questions. Consider these examples:

  • How are online users experiencing or addressing privacy issues on such social networking sites as Twitter and Facebook?

  • What are common traits of those suffering from diabetes in America, and how can these commonalities be used to aid the medical community in prevention of the disease?

George Mason University Writing Center

The Writing Center

The Writing Center offers free writing support to Mason students, faculty and staff. Accomplished graduate and undergraduate students provide face-to-face tutoring, online tutoring, and workshops. They work with writers through all stages of the writing process from brainstorming and organizing to revising and polishing. To meet with a Writing Center tutor please schedule a virtual or face-to-face appointment.

ESL students who would like additional assistance can apply for the Writing Center's Opt-In Program.