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Guide to the Research Process: 1a. Select a Topic

This guide provides an introduction to the skills needed to conduct research, with particular reference to the field of education.


Choose a topic that interests you and will hold your attention. If you do, the research will be more enjoyable!

Topic Ideas

 Can’t think of a topic to research

·         Brainstorm – write down any ideas that come to mind

·         Talk with lecturers

·        Talk with classmates

·         Consult sources of background information like general and subject specific encyclopedias, handbooks, and textbooks for ideas

·         Browse recent issues of periodicals for topical issues

The Research Assignment

Before selecting a topic or starting your research, make sure you understand your assignment and its requirements. Consider the following:

  • Length --       How many words are required?
  • Currency --    Do you need current or historical information?
  • Level --          Do you need scholarly/professional or popular information?
  • Resources --  Do you have to cite a specific number of resources?
  • Date Due --    When is the paper due?


Choosing Your Research Topic