Construct a Star Diagram

For this activity you will use your background and interests to come up with potential research topics. Note emphasis on the words "potential" and "topics." This exercise is similar to brainstorming because you are expected to generate a list of ideas--not one single idea--about which you could write. Later, you can assess whether or not the potential topics fit the course requirements and if they interest you enough for you to spend the time necessary to write a good research paper.

Although I have updated this tutorial since I first designed it in January 2004, I have continued to use the same images. Also, in reflecting on the start diagram, I assumed I had been assigned to write a paper on the middle east.

Required Materials

This learning activity requires the following resources:

  • a sheet of paper (the larger the better)
  • crayons, colored pencils, or colored markers
  • magazines, scissors, and glue (optional)


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