Research is a form of problem solving, and the first step in problem solving is always identify the problem. In other words, what question do you hope to answer with your research?
You will work from general to specific to decide on a topic.
1. Pick your subject area
- It’s important to choose something that will hold your interest.
- Explore reference materials and quality web sites for background on your topic.
- If you’re stuck, try mind-mapping. This is a visual, “right-brained” method of brainstorming.
2. Zero in on one particular topic
You narrow down a topic by adding concepts. Each concept you add focuses it.
Click through the mini-slideshow below to learn how to narrow a research topic by adding concepts. To enlarge it, click the menu icon in the lower-left corner of the box and select “view full screen.”