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One of the joys and privileges of research is being able to follow your curiosity; if you are truly curious about your topic, and authentically driven to find out as much as you can, then even the articles you don't find interesting will be useful for a future project, and no energy will be wasted.Well, you've been researching for a while now, and you are now ready to settle down on a specific topic.When you have a few examples, choose the topic that you feel meets your course requirements, the needs of your intended (or imagined) audience, and/or has the most relevant source material to support it. For some, this topic may seem like it's ready to be written about, but the level of precision required in the context of academic writing requires writer-researcher to go through a few additional steps.
Narrowing a Topic in Three Steps, Starting from a Topic that Was Selected Using the Three-Step Choosing a Topic Process.
1) 3) Make the sentence as precise and arguable as possible.
You can do this easily by moving through the following steps.
(For the purposes of this learning packet, let say that you are writing on the subject of .
For an undergraduate course project, finding five or six sources might seem like plenty of material to review, but graduate-level writing projects typically involve up to 20 sources minimum.
Please note that the main point here is not to say that it is only the number of research articles matters most, but rather that having a broad spectrum of papers to choose from helps you choose your topic for at least the following two reasons: 1) a larger pool of sources provides you with a broader perspective of the topics within your scope of research and 2) along the way you will find many topics within your field that you DO NOT want to write about!
It is natural to stand at the beginning of a research project and feel overwhelmed by the amount of published research that exists in databases, literature reviews, and reference pages.
At the same time, each new research project brings the hope of discovering something new.
To choose a general topic, follow the following steps: 1) Choose a topic area.
This audio file describes the process of choosing and narrowing a topic that is demonstrated in this learning packet.