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Research Methodologies: Research Topic

Select your research topic


Often the topic is assigned to you by your lecturer. However, at other times, you are required to come up with your own topic. How do you decide what to write about? You can get ideas from browsing some of the following:

  • Textbooks
  • General or specialized encyclopedias
  • Books
  • Journal or newspaper articles

Refining your research topic

If you have been assigned or have decided on a general subject area, you need to narrow the subject area into a manageable topic for your paper.

  • Try to choose a topic that you are interested in as you have to spend time and effort on it.
  • Choose a topic that is worth researching and where you can use your critical thinking skills.
  • Try to ensure that your topic has sufficient resources available and accessible.
  • Avoid topics that are too broad as you may not be able to cover the topic sufficiently. If the topic is too narrow, you may not have enough to write on and with sufficient depth.
  • Check with your lecturer or supervisor if your topic is feasible and they may also be able to recommend some books or authorities on the topic.

Extracted from Troyka, Lynn Quitman. 1999. Simon & Schuster handbook for writers. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. p. 508-509.