Choosing a research topic can be tricky. Here are some tips to help you get started with selecting and developing your topic.
Brainstorm - Brainstorm different areas of interest and topic ideas. You can check the following places for inspiration.
Explore and test out your topic idea - try searching for your topic online and in library databases to see what you find. Are you finding information that you can use for your research assignment? Is what you are finding interesting to you?
Scope your topic - sometimes a topic can be too broad or too narrow to start. Refine your topic with these tips
Talk to an expert - research which faculty members and graduate students at Emory specialize in the area you are researching. Reach out via email and see if they have the time to chat with you about resources, texts, or authors you should look into while you are researching your topic. While they may not be able to read your research proposal they will be able to recommend additional reading to help you develop your research topic.
Think outside of Emory - try researching museums in the greater Atlanta area that may have exhibits relevant to your research topic. For example, the Atlanta Center for Civil and Human Rights or the Atlanta History Center.
We conduct research for a variety of reasons, and our final research products can take many different forms. From research papers, to presentations, to op-eds, to blog posts, to websites, to digital exhibits, etc. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you work on a research project.
Research assignments often occur in stages, such as beginning with a proposal or an annotated bibliography. For more information on annotated bibliographies, and how they can help you with your research assignment, see this guide from Purdue OWL.
This video was created by the NCSU Libraries and is published under a Creative Commons 3.0 BY-NC-SA US license.