Develop Your Topic

Every research project starts with a topic. Before you jump into into it, take the time to define what your research topic will cover.

  • It will be easier to do your actual research.
  • You will be better prepared to look for the information you need.

Be sure to understand the assignment your teacher has given you: the length of the project, what type of information sources are needed, how current the information needs to be, and what citation style and format to use. If you’re not sure, ask.

Realize that you will most likely be modifying your research topic as you advance in your work. The research process is not linear, as demonstrated in the following diagram.

After selecting a topic you’ll need to refine the topic, develop your search strategy, gather information, and read and evaluate what you have found. Depending on the results, you may have to refine your topic again and redo the steps before you are ready to write your paper.

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