Research Paper Writing Lessons: How to Select a Proper Topic Idea.
Most of the time choosing a winning topic is not easy. But, the ability to develop an appealing research topic is quite important. When selecting the topic, you need to picture what the final project will look like. The topic should be focused and narrow enough to make it interesting.
Steps for selecting a proper topic idea
- Brainstorm for ideas – Get a subject that personally interests you. Look into some locally-oriented sites. Do current events like politics, social science interest you? Is medicine or health interesting? Is Humanity your area of interest? Write down a keyword or concepts to help you come up with a much-focused research topic. Do not overuse ideas. Avoid topics like gun control or abortion unless you have a way to approach such topics. You can always consult your instructor for guidance if you find yourself stuck.
- Get the background information – Read general articles on the top three topics that you want to consider. Get the topics overview and compare how your ideas relate to narrower, broader and related issues. Get keywords that will help you research. Look for more general terms in encyclopedias. Periodic indexes can help you scan recent magazines or newspaper articles. Use search engines to get websites on your topic.
- Focus on the topic – Since topics are hard to study when they are too narrow or broad. A topic like the environment can be narrowed by limiting the topic. You may narrow it using the geographical area, culture, population group, etc. Again don’t make it locally confined. Recent topics might not be readily available.
- Identify useful keywords – Get words which best describe the topic. You can get them in encyclopedia articles. Find narrower and broader terms, synonyms and key concepts to your keywords for widening the search capabilities.
- Be flexible – It is okay to modify the topic during your research process. You are never sure of what to find. You can get too much which will require you to narrow the focus. Other times you will get too little that will require you to broaden the focus. This is quite usual when researching. You can stick to your topic and may decide on other aspects that are more manageable or interesting. The assigned length of your research, project bibliography and other study requirements should be kept in mind. The coverage depth needed and submission date will assist you to decide when and how much to modify the topic.
- Come up with a thesis statement – This helps to answer and state your reason for the research questions. It states what your study proves and informs the audience.