Developing Your Topic

Starting a research project can be a daunting task, so it makes sense to start with a relatively clear idea of what you want to know.

If you take the time to define what your research topic will cover:
  • It will be easier to do your actual research, and
  • You will be better prepared to look for the information you need.

Research Planner (sample)

First, be sure to understand the assignment your teacher has given you:
  • What is the length of the project?
  • What types of sources do you need to find?
  • How current does the information need to be?
  • What citation style are you being asked to follow?

Is it important to understand that you will likely be modifying your research topic as you advance in your work. As you see in the following diagram, the process is not linear:
Research Process Diagram

Reproduced, with permission, from Unlocking Research
George Wallace Library, Champlain College