Skip to Main Content
University of Phoenix logo
University Library

Develop a Search Strategy

How do I choose a topic?

Choosing a topic can sometimes be the most challenging part of the research process. Here are some ways to jump-start the process.

  • What are you curious or passionate about? Pick a topic that will sustain your interest and keep the end product in mind. If you are doing research for a:
    • discussion post: pick a simple, broad topic that can be researched quickly
    • research paper or project: choose a topic that will meet all the requirements of the assignment
    • dissertation: pick a unique topic that builds on previous research
  • Is there a question you would like answered? Have you seen something in the media that you want to explore further? Choose a topic you can apply to your daily life or one that overlaps with your course topics.
  • Is there a topic in your class that you are interested in or want to explore deeper? Look through the course syllabus, readings, or textbook for ideas or concepts that interest you.

Keep in mind that research isn't linear, and refining your topic is a dynamic process. You may need to run multiple general searches about your topic in the library search box before you lock down your final research topic.

how to select a research topic
Learn how to make connections between ideas and form a focused research question.
framing a research problem
Tips on formulating your research question.
narrowing a research topic
Strategies for choosing a topic and narrowing it into an appropriate research question.

ProQuest Research Companion: How do I choose a topic?

ProQuest Research Companion has an excellent section that leads you through choosing a topic. From the home page in the database, select How do I choose a topic? to work through the module.

Need ideas for a topic?

If you get stuck and need ideas for a topic, some of our databases provide broad overviews that can help you find a more specific topic you want to write about.

Ask Us!

Have a question or need help?

Related Guides