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How to Choose a Topic: Choosing a topic

This guide will provide you with resources to choose and develop your research topic.

Resources For Finding Topics

When looking for a topic it's best to choose a topic that has personal interest to you. 

You may also choose to:

-Scan current magazines or newspapers.

-Research something you heard in the news or in another class.

-Use library resources.

Now That You Have a Topic..

Once you have selected a topic use this worksheet to develop your research strategy.  This approach will provide you with an organized approach to finding your resources.

Keep in Mind...

   When you are asked to do a research project on a topic of your choice keep in mind:                

  •  Choose a topic which interests you!  Your progress will usually be faster and more fullfilling. 
  • Don't pick the same topic that your friends are doing.  Make this project your own!
  • Select a topic with a moderate amount of published information.  If your topic is too broad there may be an overwhelming amount of information.  If your topic is too narrow, there may not be enough information.  Remember, if you choose a very current topic you may not find a lot of published information.
  • Be flexible!  It is highly likely that during the course of your research project, you will have to modify your topic at least once.  Too little published information may require you to broaden your topic.  Too much information may require you to make your topic more specific.  Be sure to start early!
  • Talk with your instructor.  If you experience difficulty in finding or refining your topic, talk with your instructor before spending too much time on the project. 

 

image courtesy of http://compliance.vpr.okstate.edu/

Formulating a Research Question

Credit:  William H. Hannon Library, Loyola Marymount University, LA