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Introduction to the Research Process: Choose Your Topic

Choose Your Topic

Choose an interesting and relevant research topic using these tips and exercises.yellow concept map

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Concept Mapping / Mind Mapping

Concept mapping (or mind mapping) is a way to visually organize a topic in order to identify relevant themes and connections. A concept map can be made using sketching software, a whiteboard or just a pen and scratch paper - whichever you prefer.

Download the worksheet below for more information on concept mapping.

Getting Started With Topics

A good research topic...

  • Fits the assignment requirements
  • Can be supported by research materials available at SCAD Libraries
  • Is interesting to you - it's something you want to learn more about
  • Has a unique angle or explores a key issue in the field

Can’t think of a topic to research? Get ideas from:

  • Your class textbook(s) and required reading(s)
  • Notes from class discussions and lectures
  • Up-to-date industry magazines and news sources - try Lexis Nexis
  • A current issues database such as CQ Researcher
  • Online or printed encyclopedias
  • Your instructor or a librarian

See the Background Information tab for more starter sources.

Picking A Topic Video

This 3 minute video explains how to test and revise a topic as part of the research process. (Via North Carolina State University)