Below is a video and a set of brainstorming questions that may help you develop a manageable research topic.
Video-Choosing a Manageable Research Topic
View the YouTube video below called “Choosing a Manageable Research Topic” by PfauLibrary. (If needed, closed captioning is available by playing the video and clicking the [cc] button.) The end contains a few “test yourself” questions. Consider WHY the answers are the way they are as you watch.
Topic Brainstorming Questions
Consider a few of the following pre-writing prompts if you need help developing a topic idea:
- What issues, topics and fields are you passionate about? Make a list. Your list might include fields as broad as “music” or as specific as “the early days of hip-hop.” Then respond: What questions or controversies in these fields do experts or fans often argue? Where do you stand?
- What are some things that you would like to change if you could? What problems or policies do you think should be addressed — whether something global, like climate change, or something closer to home, like the need for child care on your college campus? Make the list as long as you can.
- Consider and research ethical guidelines in your current or future career field. What are some of the ethical concerns or issues in your chosen field? Where do you stand on these issues?
- What do you do outside of school? What are some things you are an expert on? What aspects of those hobbies or interests do you find yourself having to explain to others? Why?
- What issues or ideas do you often find yourself discussing or arguing about with friends, your family or online?
- What issues or controversies have you followed recently in current events? What are your opinions about them? What might you need more information about?