Personally, I get a kick of adrenaline rush from the overwhelming feeling of researching for an assignment related to a new topic. This overwhelming feel is because the vast amount of published content that prevails in various databases, reference sites and reviews. But I consider it a privilege (though an overwhelming one) in researching a new project in the hope of learning and uncovering something that no one else has ever discovered. Researching a new topic is never a waste of time, albeit it is helpful in saving your time as one research can prove to be a point of reference for other related topics as well.
Now, it must be understood that the capability of evolving a good research topic is a matter of a good skill. There are chances that you may be assigned with a particular topic, but mostly instructors prefer that the topics are chosen by you depending upon your areas of interest. But also keep in mind that choosing a new topic is not a random job. The content of the topic should be interesting and gripping, hence should be concise and focused but also should provide effective and adequate information pertaining to the topic. Don’t worry; it’s not as hard as it looks.
In such cases, there are a few things to be kept in mind before choosing a new topic for research.
- Stick to your area of interest:
- Always choose a topic that interests and intimidates you. You cannot bore yourselves out while writing or researching a topic. If so, then how will you be able to hold the interest of the readers? So it is most essential to choose a topic that excites you.
- Ask yourself general questions like do you like politics or do you have an opinion or interest in a current controversy brewing in the political world, have you been following a news story that has had you in knots because of the way it is shaping up. Or you also may have a personal interest or problem for which you might be looking for a solution. It is always helpful to jot down keywords or concepts that may interest you. But it is alright to shy away from repetitive and overused topics and ideas as it would affect the novelty of your research content.
- Also it is safe to avoid highly controversial and social topics like teen problems, abortions, weapon control etc. unless you have an approach that does not hurt anybody’s sentiments.
- Be prepared:
“Be prepared” should be the motto of every research writer. Narrow down your topics considering for research and consult a general encyclopedia about them for related articles and references. A broader view about the topics in the form of summary from cheap papers gives you an idea about the preview of your research. It is again a great source for brainstorming for keywords relating to the topics you have narrowed down. Also look into journals and newspapers or current magazines related to your topics to pick reference articles from. Advanced technologies like the search engines can be extremely helpful to browse through for related topics on the internet. As of now the most trending search engines are considered to be Google and Bing.
- Keep the content manageable:
Managing content is an art that describes the fine line between too broad and very narrow. A sense of balance is very necessary to maintain between the two. It should not be too broad as to speaking only on general terms throughout the article neither should it be so narrow to be like beating the same point over and over again into a pulp. Let me give out some pointers which will help to maintain a limit for a specific topic.
- In terms of geographical boundaries
- Using a particular time frame as a point of reference.
- By the culture of the geographical boundaries.
- Limiting yourself to a particular group of population.
- Avoid extremely popular issues and topics like biographies of celebrities and sports persons. Also do not opt for topics which are based on very recent happenings as you are bound to find very less references from books or journals.
- A list of keywords could prove handy:
It is crucial to maintain a track of the keywords of topics that pique your interest. By this stage I am sure, you have narrowed down the topics of your choice to be researched. Now comes the time to further narrow down the options to 2/3 topics. Looking for words and phrases that ignites your imagination could play a key role in finalizing a topic for research. Also search for them while referring encyclopedias and other general information. Maintain an updated note of these words to use them for further research catalogues and databases for related content. You can also broaden your search by looking for synonyms for your keywords.
- Flexibility is the norm:
A little modification here and there is normal during the overall research process because what you may find or may not find during our research is not in your hands. You may find too little reference and might have to use the limited resources to broaden your content or you may find too much information and may have to choose very wisely what references would be applicable for your topics chosen. For this it is important to keep in mind the assigned length of the topics assigned to you.
- Decide on a topic:
Taking into account the above steps, fix a topic of your choice for research. At this stage the keywords that you have accumulated are the most beneficial. Form an apt research questionnaire which will help you go forward with your research content step by step.
- Compile a thesis statement:
Finally, form your topic as a thesis statement. This statement is essential to put forth or portray the purpose or topic of your research. This statement is usually not more than 1-2 sentences and it precisely informs its readers about the topic and the questions and statements it answers and proves.
The best part about researching for favorable topics is the freedom to follow and satisfy your curiosity where you can authentically research as much as you can to your heart’s content.