Choosing a Topic and Formulating a Research Question
A topic that is manageable for a research project will not be too broad or too narrow. Often, the topic can be formulated into a research question. Manageable topics generally have two to three concepts. Examples of manageable topics/research questions include:
Do children sent to daycare or preschool start kindergarten with more highly developed language skills?
What impact has deregulation had on commercial airline safety?
Topics with one concept are generally too broad.
When a topic idea is too broad, common ways to break down an idea include: place, time period, gender, age group, or ethnic group.
Topics with more that three concepts are usually too narrow.
What are the 14 different disease-causing genes that were discovered in 2000?
Are genetically altered soybeans grown in Iowa safe for human or animal use?
Using less specificity will be necessary when a topic idea is too narrow.
Check out the Picking Your Topic is Research video on this page for more specifics on selecting a manageable topic and formulating a research question.
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