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Civil Disobedience: Analyze

Resources for researching Civil Disobedience and related topics of dissent, civil resistance, and activism.

The Analysis Stage of the Research Process

The first step in research is to analyze your own research objectives. This will help you to find the information you need more quickly and efficiently.

When doing your analysis you should identify keywords that:

  • Describe your research topic, such as descriptive nouns, phrases, and synonyms.
  • Broaden, narrow, or relate to your topic.
  • You also need to think about:

    • What information you need to have to answer your research question.
    • Who might already have the information.
    • Where and in what form (book, article, website, etc...) the information might exist.
    • When might the information have been created.

    This is not a linear process. As you begin to explore, you may discover new keywords. You may change the focus your topic slightly, and get new ideas about where else to search.


    Civil Disobedience Defined

    The Columbia Encyclopedia defines civil disobedience as the "refusal to obey a law or follow a policy believed to be unjust. Practitioners of civil disobedience usually base their actions on moral right and employ the nonviolent technique of passive resistance in order to bring wider attention to the injustice. Risking punishment, such as violent retaliatory acts or imprisonment, they attempt to bring about changes in the law..." (view more)


    Relevant Topics

    Because civil disobedience is such a broad subject, you will need to narrow the scope of your research topic to something more specific. This will help you to focus your research and save you from getting overwhelmed by it.  

    Below you will find some examples of people, places, times, and subjects that are associated with civil disobedience. Focusing on specifics like these are good ways to narrow your topic. Follow the links for further information on that specific topic/term.

    Place or time  Person  Subject 
    Civil Rights Era Mahatma Gandhi Immigration
    Salt March Malcolm X Marriage Equality
    Vietnam War Nelson Mandela Women's Suffrage

    Related Terms

    As with most research topics, there are many different terms associated with civil disobedience.  Below are some such terms, follow the links for further information on that specific topic/term. 

    Civil rights movements Democracy
    Conscience Nonviolence
    Conscientious objector Pacifism
    Crime Resistance movement
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