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ALEC 440 - Business and Research Writing

What Makes a Good Research Topic?

Deciding what to research can be just as difficult as actually doing the research  to support your topic. Here are some tips for choosing a focused topic:

  • Make sure it is appropriate for the assignment and scope of the class. If you are unsure whether your topic fits the needs of the assignment, your professor can help you determine if you need to make any changes. 
  • Something that is interesting to you! While you are needing to research for a class, that doesn't mean you can't enjoy it.
  • Your topic should be manageable. If you choose a topic that is too broad, then you will need to focus it more. If your topic is too narrow, then you may not be able to find adequate literature to inform or support your topic. 

Below is a 3-minute video from North Carolina State University about the importance of choosing a good topic.

Watch the Picking Your Topic is Research tutorial in YouTube (captions and transcript available).

Mind Mapping Tutorial

One avenue for helping you brainstorm your topic is a mind map. Mind Maps allow you to identify connected concepts that will help you determine how to appropriately identify your topic.

Below is a 1 minute- video tutorial for creating a mind map.  Watch the Mind Map tutorial and then try creating your own!

Watch the Mind Map Tutorial on YouTube (captions and transcript available).

Background Research

To help you as you are brainstorming your topic, it never hurts to conduct background research. Conducting background research allows you get a sense of what the discourse around your topic is. 

Below is a list of library resources that are great to when conducting research. Remember, if you are having a hard time conducting background research, reach out to the library!

When you are ready to move on, click on the "next" button to explore how to find library resources!