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BIOC70 An Introduction to Bias in the Sciences

This guide will help students in BIOC70 to find relevant resources for the Task Force Project or Briefing Document assignment, find supportive materials in library databases, create effective search strategies, and develop their topic.

CLASS ACTIVITY: Focusing Your Topic Practice Mind Map

We will practice identifying the broader topic and focused topic.

Girls and Math discussion of bias in STEMM


  • Take a moment to read the article
  • Individually write down some notes or draw:
    • what is the who, what, where, when of this topic?
  • Let's mind mind as a class on this topic
  • What is the broader topic?
  • What is the problem or focused topic?
  • What do you want to learn more about on this topic if you were researching and writing about this?

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GROUP ACTIVITY: Mind Map the 5Ws of your Topic

Your Turn. Mind map your topic as a group and consider the who, what, where, when, and identify some why/how.  


  • What is your topic about?
  • What else is it about?
  • What are additional aspects of this topic?
  • What is the issue or problem?


  • Who is being impacted?
  • Who are the stakeholders or other entities/organizations involved
  • Who is part of the problem?
  • Who is part of the solution?


  • Where is this issue happening?
  • Where geographically?
  • Which spaces? Which places?


  • When do we see this issue happening?
  • When in time are we discussing this issue?


  • Now that you have depicted the 4Ws, what are why/how question you have?


Search Strategy Log Questions 2 and 3

  • What are your groups curiosities? What does your group want to find out more about?

  • How will you further focus your group's topic? Try the sentence stems.

Going back to the literature

  • Share in your group determine a focus that the group finds most interesting and wants to learn more about
    • What is an example that you can make clear to the average Canadian about your now focused topic? Go back to your grey literature and scholarly literature for ideas
    • How does it relate to STEMM?

Share around, if time allows, examples of topic and how the group plans to further focus it.