DEFINING A RESEARCH TOPIC
1 EMPATHIZE WITH THE MATERIAL + FIND YOUR CURIOSITY
What, in your reading, sparked a personal interest?
EX. Iranian nuclear program
2 DEFINE A QUESTION OR PROBLEM THAT CAN BE ANSWERED
EX. What impact did the United States play in the proliferation of nuclear weapons in Iran?
3 IDENTIFY SOME KEYWORDS
(THINK: COMMON WORDS AND PHRASES)
How do I describe this event or topic? How might other people (my peers, my teacher, scholars)?
EX. Keywords related to the Iranian nuclear program
4 DETERMINE WHAT'S BEEN WRITTEN
Where in the text is your topic discussed? Do you like what you've found?
WHY did you choose the topic? What interests you about it? Do you have an opinion about the issues involved?
WHO are the information providers on this topic? Who might publish information about it? Who is affected by the topic? Do you know of organizations or institutions affiliated with the topic?
WHAT are the major questions for this topic? Is there a debate about the topic? Are there a range of issues and viewpoints to consider?
WHERE is your topic important: at the local, national or international level? Are there specific places affected by the topic?
WHEN is/was your topic important? Is it a current event or an historical issue? Do you want to compare your topic by time periods?