A topic is a subject or issue that a researcher is interested in and desires to research or discuss. The starting point of every successful research project is to have a well-defined research topic. However this can be a challenging task. There are four steps that could help you define your research topic.
Step 1. Get inspired: Some of you may be interested in researching animal rights, cell phones in schools, eating disorders, or gender identity. But some of you may struggle to find a topic as you may be afraid that you will not find anything about it. No matter the scenario, you can be inspired from a wide range of experiences and contexts to find a topic to explore.
Step 2. Pick a topic: Once you have some inspiration or personal interest you have to move to the next step which is to pick a topic. A good research topic has three basic characteristics, it is interesting, manageable, and valuable for you and for your audience.
Step 3. Bring up a research question: Once you choose a general topic you need to decide what you would like to research on this. Now you have to think of potential questions that may arise under this topic. It is sometimes safer to prepare more than one research questions that relate to your topic.
Check the table to see how you progress from one step to the other.
Step 4. Testing your topic: Once you decided what topic you would like to research, you have to make sure that it is a researchable topic. At this stage, you will test your topic with some preliminary research, to understand whether there is enough evidence to support it. If you find enough this means that you won half the battle. You finally have a researchable topic. However, if you cannot find enough information this means that you have to refine your research question or pick another topic so you will enter the research cycle again!
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