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WR122 James Bryant-Trerise

Course guide for Writing 122

Choosing a good research topic

Before you choose a topic to research, test it out and make sure it is a good topic to use!

Now that you've learned how to choose a good research topic, the next step is to develop a thesis.

Screen blank or would like Closed Captioning? Watch the YouTube video.

  Video created by CCC Library (Feb. 2018).

Questions to ask!

Refining your topic.

It can be helpful to ask yourself some questions about your topic in order to make it easier to research. Here are some examples:

  • What do you want more information about?
  • Is there anything that you are confused about or need to know more about before continuing your research?
  • What about the topic interests you the most?
  • Are you interested in a specific population (such as college students, millennials, or people experiencing homelessness)?
  • Are you interested in a specific location (such as Portland, China, forests, or community colleges)?
  • Are you interested in a specific time frame or era (such as the 1980s, the 21st century, or the stone age)?
  • Is there anything you are specifically NOT interested in learning about that is related to your topic (such as The Rock, but not rocks)?

You can also try re-phrasing your topic to explain it to a friend or someone who doesn't know as much as you do about it.

Differences between general, narrow, and focused topics

Advertising or culture racism or sexism in advertising How advertising in the 1930’s showed women’s roles in society to be cook, housewife, supporter of husband, or nurturer of children.
The American Workplace The Labor Movement How Henry Ford and others threatened and beat up workers attempting to organize
The American Workplace The Labor Movement The UAW strike that prevented building planes in the months leading up to WWII or their strike in the 1950’s that hindered missile defense.

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