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Narrow your focus to formulate a research question
Brainstorm related keywords and concepts
Reference resources can help you select and narrow your topic
Can you narrow your topic to a specific
Race, ethnicity, gender, or age group?
Choosing a Research Topic
Brainstorming Search Terms
Brainstorming search terms can help you modify your search strategy and paper topic. Here are the steps:
1. Write down your topic and identify the key (or most important) terms.
Example: How does family support impact academic success for trans students?
2. For each term, write down synonyms, related ideas, broader terms, and narrower terms. For example:
Family support > social support, parental support, family relationships
Academic success > scholastic success, graduation, grade point average
Trans > transgender, LGBTQ, nonbinary
Students > high school students, young people, adolescents
3. Try out different combinations of the key terms, adjusting as needed. If you have too many search results, try using more specific terms ("high school students" instead of "students"). If you have too few results, use broader search terms, or try searching for some of the related terms that you identified above.