Research is not a one-time event. It is an ongoing process that occurs concurrently with the writing of your paper. Choosing and adjusting your topic or research question is an integral part of the research process! That's why it's called REsearch--if done correctly, you'll conduct searches for information at least a few times during the writing process.
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Start by brainstorming some potential topics to explore further.
Now that you have a potential topic in mind, find out a little more about it to make sure it will work for you.
Check library article databases, such as the Science & Technology database in Academic Search Complete, to see if journalists or scholars have written about your topic in the popular press or academic journals.
Finally, you'll need to find the right scope for your topic. If it is too broad or too narrow, you may have difficulty covering it adequately in the length assigned for your research project.
Sometimes a topic that seems like the right size can seem way too big after you’ve learned a little more about it. When this happens, you need to narrow the focus of your topic. You can do this by considering different ways to restrict your research topic.
Some of the ways you can limit your topic are by:
For example, attempting to research invasive species would be very overwhelming. However, looking at the economic impacts of aquatic invertebrate invasive species in North America might be a good fit.
(adapted from U of Michigan - Finding and Exploring Your Topic)
Video via Langara Library.
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