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3.8: Choosing a Topic

  • Page ID
    • Walter D. Butler; Aloha Sargent; and Kelsey Smith
    • Pasadena City College, Cabrillo College, and West Hills Community College
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    Questions to Consider

    When it comes to academic research, choosing a topic is often the hardest part of the process! In many instances, college instructors will provide guidelines or a broad topic for the assignment, but it’s your job to choose a narrower topic within those guidelines. Here are some questions to ask yourself before you decide on a topic to research:

    • Have I been assigned a specific topic or can I choose my own?
    • Is there a particular current event that interests me or an issue I feel strongly about? Can I select a topic that is closely related to my college major?
    • Did the instructor specify what types of information sources I need to use?
    the process for narrowing topics. Description added below.
    Visualize narrowing a topic as starting with all possible topics and choosing narrower and narrower subsets until you have a specific enough topic to form a research question.


    This page titled 3.8: Choosing a Topic is shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Walter D. Butler; Aloha Sargent; and Kelsey Smith via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.