When given an assignment where you choose the research topic, don't begin by thinking about what to write about, but rather, ask yourself the question, "What do I want to know? " Treat an open-ended assignment as an opportunity to learn about something that's new or exciting to you. "Choosing a Research Topic." Beginning Library and Information Systems Strategies. Jacksonville, FL: University of North Florida Digital Commons, 2014; Alvesson, Mats and Jörgen Sandberg.
The problem under investigation offers us an occasion for writing and a focus that governs what we want to say.: Since social science research papers are generally designed to get you to develop your own ideas and arguments, look for sources that can help broaden, modify, or strengthen your initial thoughts and arguments.For example, if you decide to argue that the European Union is ill prepared to take on responsibilities for broader global security because of the debt crisis in many EU countries, then focus on identifying sources that support refute this position. In thinking about a research topic to study, don't adopt the mindset of pursuing an esoteric or incredibly complicated topic just to impress your professor but that, in reality, does not have any real interest to you.This is an excellent strategy for identifying more current, related research on your topic.Finding additional cited by references from your original list of cited by references helps you navigate through the literature and, by so doing, understand the evolution of thought around a particular research problem.From the advanced search option in Pro Quest, a sample search would use "European Union" in one search box, "global security" in the second search box, and adding a third search box to include "debt crisis.": Remember to keep careful notes at every stage or utilize a citation management system like End Notes or Ref Works. As best as you can, choose a topic that has at least some interest to you or that you care about.You may think you'll remember what you have searched and where you found things, but it’s easy to forget or get confused. Obviously, this is easier for courses within your major, but even for those nasty prerequisite classes that you must take in order to graduate [and that provide an additional revenue stream to the university], try to apply issues associated with your major to the general topic given to you.A good indication is that you start composing your paper outline and gaps appear in how you want to approach the study. Dartmouth College; How To Write a Thesis Statement. University Library, University of California, Santa Cruz; The Process of Writing a Research Paper. Don't assume or jump to the conclusion that your topic is too narrowly defined or obscure just because you haven’t found any information about it.This indicates the need to gather further background information and analysis about your research problem. Writing Tutorial Services, Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning. consult a librarian before you consider giving up on finding information about the topic you want to investigate." The main concepts is this problem are: European Union, global terrorism, credibility [hint: focus on identifying proper nouns, nouns or noun phrases, and action verbs in the assignment description].: Review related literature to help refine how you will approach examining the topic and finding a way to analyze it.