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How do I Conduct Research?: A Step by Step Guide: Step 1: Your Topic

General guide for conducting research at YSU

What will I write about?

1) Start off with a general idea about what you are interested in.  

This is usually a general  1-2 word phrase. Some general topics include:

  • Media Violence
  • Gun laws
  • Climate Change
  • Bullying
  • Animal Rights
  • Women's Issues
  • Anything else you can think of!

2) Search for some general information about the topic, do some background searching.

  • You are not looking for sources right now, just information that will assist you in narrowing your topic to a manageable research question.
  • As you read about your topic, make a note of any aspect of the topic that is really interesting to you:
    • school shootings and new school/building design
    • fall prevention in hospitals and patient education
    • plastic pollution AND pacific ocean floating plastic island

3) Create a list of terms that may come up in a conversation about this topic.

   Hint: Ask yourself questions like;

  • Who could be affected by this subject?
  • What other issues come up when talking about this subject?
  • Why do I care about this topic?
  • Where is this topic an issue?

4) Write a question or statement that you'll answer or prove with your research.

Media Violence has a negative effect on children.

Do strict gun control laws reduce violence?

Climate change can be reduced by recycling and clean energy.

Subject Guide


Try writing a list of topics!