Choose a topic: This is the first step in the research you will do for your paper or project.
Understand the assignment: Look closely at the instructions you have been given and consider the following questions.
Select a topic that interests you: If you have some flexibility in choosing your topic, choose one that you find interesting and that you want to know more about. Being interested in the topic will help keep you going. If you need ideas, try:
Consider your focus An example would be:
Broad topic: Pets
Narrow topic: Pet therapy
Narrower topic: Pet therapy and the chronically ill
If you're having trouble coming up with a focus for your topic, consider creating a Concept Map.
Here is a video that was created by UCLA Library on concept mapping:
A research question is a clear, focused question that helps guide your search.
The four "must haves" of a good research question:
Example of a research question that is too general: Is pet therapy beneficial?
Example of a solid, clearly written, open-ended research question: How can companion animals improve health?