I'm an undergrad majoring in Urban Studies.
I have a literature review to write yet I am having some trouble with the following:
- narrowing down different topics
- developing a research question
- upon surverying different material I find, deciphering by title, if a piece is relevant to my question and
- if it seems relevant, it oftentimes is wordy and few appear to be very relevant
For example, I have decided to search based on one of the questions I came up with when reading the book Crabgrass Frontier by Kenneth T. Jackson that he did not delve as deep into, and asked:
Q: Jackson states (216) that suburban development was preferred, on single-family, private homes. But how much was that really true and with better planning and growth management, maintenance and other variables, was it feasible for inner-city living to be preferred by a greater number of citizens? It seems to me that citizens “preferred” this living because it was presented as a better alternative in all regards; cost, cleanliness, health, amenities.
I've tried using more broad and more narrow search terms, from the Jackson question to a more broad topic of urban planning and its history in the U.S. I don't seem to get too many hits for what I'm looking for. Should I look in more specific places like related-field journals or continue trying databases in the social sciences/urban studies abstract searches?
I'm also having trouble with coming up with a topic that is (1) interesting to me, (2) not too narrow or broad and (3) has material to write a literature review on.
Any questions for clarification or help, I'd really appreciate it.