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Topic Selection & Development

Guides students through the essentials of topic selection and development

Get off to a Strong Start with Your Research Project

Topic selection and development is not only an early step in the research process, it is also one of the most important steps. Research is a lot like the rest of life: sometimes everything goes smoothly, but very often there are challenges to be overcome  Some of the challenges students encounter within the research process include:

  • not finding enough relevant information
  • being overwhelmed with too much information
  • finding the same information over and over again
  • not finding sources that are academically credible
  • struggling to understand complex source material
  • feeling disengaged with their topic

When the going gets tough, having a topic about which you are genuinely interested, a topic that has been adequately vetted and planned out, is a huge asset. Many of the above challenges can be minimized simply by choosing and developing a strong, meaningful, and clearly focused topic at the outset of your project. 

This guide sets out to provide strategies students can use to choose strong topics and develop them in a way that makes the research process more efficient and thereby far less frustrating. If you need further help, or would like to learn more about research, stop by one of the MJC Library and Learning Centers and talk to a research librarian.