If your professor has not assigned a topic to you, it can be difficult to come up with something on your own. The goal is to find something you're interested in personally, and to ensure it is focused with a clear structure.
Try browsing through these databases to see if an a topic sparks your interest, and then use the tips below to ensure you are staying on track:
To determine whether a topic will work for you and for your assignment, consider these questions:
A topic is too broad when you find that you have too many different ideas or resources about that topic, or, when you are becoming overwhelmed by the amount of information out there. While you want to start the writing process with as many ideas as possible, you will want to narrow your focus at some point so that you aren't attempting to do too much in one essay.
Here are ways to make your result list less in quantity, but still high in relevance:
A topic is too narrow if you can't find any information about it. Though student writers most often face the challenge of limiting a topic that is too broad, they occasionally have to recognize that they have chosen a topic that is too narrow or that they have narrowed a workable topic too much. If your topic is so narrowed and focused, it can become too academic or pedantic. If your topic is too narrow, try making it broader by asking yourself related questions.
|Broad topic:||Focused Topic:||Research Question:|
|Eating disorders||Anorexia||What is the relationship between Instagram and anorexia?|
|Online courses||Effectiveness of online college courses||Which type of course delivery is more effective for college students: online or traditional?|
The correct answer is Any of the Above!
Once you have chosen a research topic, you will need to narrow it down into a research statement or question. The sooner you do this in your research process, the more time you'll save because you can conduct more focused searches.
Here are some common ways you can narrow down a research topic:
By demographic characteristics
By relevant issues
When developing a research question, think about: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How. The more of these you incorporate the more specific your research question will be.
Seneca College (2022, May 13). FAQ: How do I narrow down my research topic? Seneca Library. Retrieved June 29, 2022, from https://seneca.libanswers.com/faq/195516