The implementation work for thesis and research papers is not easy and can be a daunting task at times. However, if you take some time to attentively brainstorm possibilities and refine them down into a solid, focused research question, you will come away with a topic that is manageable, worthwhile, and, most importantly, interesting to you.
You should also try to imagine how your final project may look like before selecting your topic as it will be more meaningful while making one.
Simple steps to understand the implementation process
Whether you’re responding to a given assignment prompt or choosing your direction for original research within a field, your experience will be more meaningful if you pick a subject that you care about. You can write down all the possibilities that occur to you so that you have a generous list of options to start from.
One way to ensure you have a topic that is of interest to you to pick a subject to which you have a personal connection. For example, if your sister has Crohn’s Disease, you may be interested in investigating it. Or, like if you went on an exchange program to Croatia, you might be interested to know more about its history or culture of the place.
Picking a topic
You need to select your top choices from the list you created to pursue further. You should take your time to do some background reading to see what textual and online sources are available to each potential topic. Then, you can select one to focus on that you find the most interesting and that has sufficient resources to investigate.
You may want to choose a topic that has some, but not too much information available on it. If there are some substantive related resources out there, you know you are on the right track.
Write down the ideas, information, and sources that interest you the most and then, review your notes, which may help in refining the topic.
For an example, if you are interested in the mapping of the human genome, you should read about the general history of the scientific advances that have allowed us to map DNA and see if there is a particular subtopic that catches your eye.
If you are having trouble deciding among topics or narrowing your scope, seek advice and suggestions from your professor, advisor, or another knowledgeable professional. They may be able to point you in a more specific and better direction based on your general interests.
One should also ask them about the potential marketability of the subject since the topic will be setting the direction for a future career.
Once you have settled on a question, it is time to check that your research topic meets with all the requirements that you are trying to address, whether they are for a class assignment, thesis, or grant. You need to be sure that your question fits with the guidelines for your research project’s topic, methods, and scope.
You might have a brilliant research question, but, if it is about genetic disorders and the grant you are applying for only funds research on communicable diseases, you all need to go back to the drawing board.
Start by listing the topics and concepts that you will need to cover to answer your research question thoroughly. And once you have your list, you can group related topics and organize those groups into a logical order.
Remember that to answer your question, you will need to contextualize it. The first part of your outline should always address the necessary background information, studies, and debates that informed your question.