b. CHOOSING & FOCUSING A TOPIC
Brainstorm by identifying your area of interest. Determine your topic by focusing on related subjects or components.
Narrow your topic by first formulating a research question. The answers to your research question will become your thesis statement.
Write descriptions of topics to get a better understanding of your topic as a whole.
Use a concept map to make connections between ideas and keywords.
Finding too many resources? Your topic may be too broad.
Not finding enough resources? Your topic may be too narrow.
→ Tutorial: Choosing a Research Topicopen this tutorial in the Credo InfoLit Modules system
→ Video: How to Narrow a Topic (Duration: 3:34)
d. Moving From Topic to Thesis
Once you’ve done your background research, and have some ideas, it’s time to turn your topic into one focused, clear research question.
Research questions serve as a guide for the kind of specific information you need to compile on your topic. A successful research question enables you to focus your search for sources and leads you to new insights. It should ask something of interest to you, and should be significant and relatable to your readers.
A strong research question is a mechanism for focusing and narrowing your research and should generate interest by addressing an important or complex issue. Your research question becomes your thesis or thesis statement.
→ Video: Thesis Statements (duration: 4:12)
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