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How to Choosing a Research Topic

Choosing an appropriate research topic can be a difficult task if adequate preparation is not done. Identifying a suitable research topic and narrowing down the same topic to a level that it can be researched is a requisite skill in all forms of research writing. Topics that are too broad in terms of context may be cumbersome to research. Therefore, specific procedures should be followed before eventually embarking on content development of a selected topic.

The ability to identify and narrow down to a particular research topic is crucial to any form of research writing. For example, it is pertinent for a researcher to identify a research topic that is clear and well-focused. The research topic should be in a position to point out specific and broad objectives to be pursued. In other words, the topic should entirely focus on the content of the research study and eventually assist the researcher to remain on track while developing the content. This essay explores how to research topics can be identified and made researchable.

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To identify the most appropriate research topic, the researcher must determine particular areas of research interests (Ziegel, 1999). This can be related to the area of study. For instance, do you have an interest in researching teenage pregnancy? The researcher ought to begin by exploring fine details of the topic to be discussed. Several peer-reviewed publications that address the topic should be researched. Perhaps, going through the preliminary reading of the topic that has been chosen is necessary (Alpert, 2004).

The peer-reviewed publications that address a particular topic should then be explored by reading summaries alongside evaluating the appropriateness. The focus should then be narrowed after reading a given publication. Topics that are too broad can be cumbersome to research (Landrigan, 2005). In the summaries, the researcher should identify issues that have not been addressed in the past research studies. Besides, the questions raised by previous studies should be identified as part and parcel of narrowing down the research topic. Are the emerging issues in the topic appealing to the targeted audience? The research topic should be clear, researchable, and debatable.

There is no research topic that does not begin with a research question. The above questions will assist in determining the suitability of the topic to be researched. A researcher should openly deliberate the topical ideas with a librarian or instructor in regards to the topic to be researched (Ziegel, 1999).

To select the most viable content of the topic, a researcher can refer to blog posts and news articles. These are vital sources of information that can inform the researcher about the trending discussions on the topic. It is also necessary to perform a search on Google, Yahoo or other search engines in order to evaluate whether the topic is researchable especially on the web. It is obvious that if the topic has adequate online materials, then even the physical libraries cannot lack reference materials (Ziegel, 1999).

A researcher can also make use of an encyclopedia within a given area of study or discipline. Additional ideas can be obtained from the list of topics or the index section. Other resources regarding the topic to be researched can also be obtained from a library catalog. Such sources can assist a researcher to comprehend the broad context of the topic under study. For instance, questions that have not been answered about the topic, the kind of information available in the publications, and the general terms commonly found in the topic can be found when various sources are used (Alpert, 2004).

In conclusion, it is necessary for the researcher to refine the search several times in order to enhance the ability to research the selected topic. The researcher should also be conversant with the subject area. Ideas can be changed and new pathways identified so as to evaluate whether the topic is researchable.


Alpert, F. (2004). Business and management research: How to complete your research project successfully. Australasian Marketing Journal, 12(3), 106-108.

Landrigan, M. (2005). Consumer insight: How to use data and market research to get closer to your customer. The Journal of Consumer Marketing, 22(6), 356-357.

Ziegel, E. R. (1999). The survey research handbook/ how to conduct surveys-A step- by-step guide. Technometrics, 41(1), 83.

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