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SER101: Introduction to Social Welfare (Nolan): Choose a Topic

Turn Your Topic Into a Research Question

Develop a Research Question

Choosing a Topic

If you are allowed to choose your topic, pick one that you are interested in; this will make your research experience more enjoyable. Remember: you and your topic are going to be spending a lot of time together over the next few weeks! The links below provide lots of ideas:

Controversial Topics for Persuasive Papers

Map it!

Mapping out your topic can be a highly effective organizational tool. Begin with your broad topic in the center of the map. After gathering some background information from an encyclopedia and a web site or two, add some subtopics directly off the main topic, as shown below, in the green bubbles. These are different 'lenses,' through which to view the larger topic. The concepts extending from there (blue bubbles) can help you refine your topic and determine what aspect you want to focus your research on. It's important to note that the parameters of your assignment will also help you determine how broad, or narrow your topic should be. See the box below for examples of turning your topic into a research question.

 

Using Google to Start Your Research