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ENGWR 300 (Abbott)

ENGWR 300 (Abbott)

Choosing a Topic

Concept Map

Some Tips on Choosing a Topic

  • Think about a topic that interests you

  • Write down anything related to that issue

  • Choose words or groups of words that might go together

  • Identify 2-3 keywords to use as search terms, and...

  • Congratulations! You've chosen a topic!

Are you interested in this topic?

  • Your research will be more interesting if your topic is something that you feel strongly about, or have a personal connection with.

What is your assignment?

  • Check with your instructor and read your assignment carefully before you begin researching to make sure that you are on the right track.

Some questions to ask yourself:

  • Why did you choose the topic?  What interests you about it?  Do you have an opinion about the issues involved?

  • Who is your research about?  Adults? Women? Children? LGBT people? Who is affected by the topic?  Do you know of organizations or institutions affiliated with the topic?

  • What are the major questions for this topic? What are the major aspects of the topic? Political? Ethical? Psychological? Are there a range of issues and viewpoints to consider?

  • Where is your topic important: at the local, national or international level?  Are there particular areas that the topic is pertinent to this topic? 

  • When did your topic become important?  Is it a current event or an historical issue?  Do you want to discuss your topic in the history context?

  • Is my topic too broad or too narrow?

    • If you get too many hits in OneSearch or in the research databases, then your topic may be too broad.

    • If you get very few or no hits in OneSearch or the research databases, then your topic may be too narrow.

  • Does my assignment require a source from an academic journal?

    • If so, be sure to run a search in OneSearch for academic journal articles on your topic before you commit to researching it. 

    • With certain research topics it will be difficult to find academic journal articles, which means that you may have a more difficult time finding sources for your assignment.