The ability to develop a good research topic is an important skill. An instructor may assign you a specific topic, but most often instructors require you to select your own topic of interest. When deciding on a topic, there are a few things that you will need to do:
Selecting a good topic may not be easy. It must be narrow and focused enough to be interesting, yet broad enough to find adequate information. Before selecting your final topic, make sure you know what your final project should look like. Each class or instructor will likely require a different format or style of research project.
Choose a topic that interests you. Use the following questions to help generate topic ideas.
Write down any key words or concepts that may be of interest to you. These terms can be helpful in your searching and used to form a more focused research topic.
Be aware of overused ideas when deciding a topic. You may wish to avoid topics such as abortion, gun control, teen pregnancy, or suicide unless you feel you have a unique approach to the topic. Ask the instructor for ideas if you feel you are stuck or need additional guidance.
If you need help, try our Research Topic Guide for ideas.
Sometimes using a Concept Map can help you come up with directions to take your research.