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Choosing a Research Topic: Home

This guide will walk you through how to choose a research topic that is relevant, interesting, and meets assignment requirements.

Picking a Research Topic

Choosing a research topic can be one of the most difficult parts of the research process. Watch the video to learn how to pick a relevant and interesting topic.

Choosing a Research Topic

How to Choose a Research Topic

1. Begin choosing a research topic by reading the assignment description to make sure you understand the assignment requirements. Are there things you can or cannot research? How long is the paper? Are you required to find scholarly sources?

Rubric for research paper.

2. Next, you want to identify a topic that you care about. Caring about a topic will result in a better paper and make the process more enjoyable for you. What are you interested in? What issues personally affect you? What are current issues in your field of study?

Mind map centered on you. Branches include questions mentioned above

3. After you have brainstormed several areas you are interested in, an effective way of developing a topic is combining 2-3 of your interests to pick a topic that is unique to you. 

Mind map centered on you. Two main interests circled, plant growth and wildfires

4. After you have identified a topic you care about, conduct an initial search about your topic in a database.

Academic search ultimate: Wildfires AND plant growth.

5. Combining your interests with initial research can help you learn more about your topic and the angle you want to pursue.

How do Wildfires affect plant gown in the rocky mountains?

6. As you continue the research process, it is inevitable that your topic will change or evolve.

How do wildfires affect ecosystems in the rocky mountains?