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Writing 39C Information Literacy Tutorial - 2019 version

Picking a Topic IS Research

Picking a Topic IS Research

Getting started is one of the hardest parts of conducting research. Many students experience anxiety about choosing a topic to begin researching, and often, they feel pressure to pick the "right" topic, or to narrow their topic down to something specific right away. The video below illustrates one of the more common misconceptions about the research process, and what to do instead.

Picking Your Topic IS Research! (by NCSU Libraries) [time=2:30]

Research is a process, and it is not linear. It involves searching, reading, and refining simultaneously. 

Stuck on how to get started?

  • Reflect on the text you've been assigned to read or the theme for the class
  • Think: What do you already know about the subject
  • Does the text or instructor mention a fact or cite evidence that makes you curious?

Tip: Start with a general, broad topic, and then narrow it down as you learn more about it.