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Choosing a Topic Module: Overview


Welcome! This module will walk you through the process of choosing a viable topic, and transforming that topic into a research question.

Review the boxes on each tab, including the questions at the bottom to check for understanding. Once you have reviewed the tabs, complete the quiz at the end.

1. Finding a Topic

The word topic originates from the Greek word topos, meaning place or location. Finding a topic means locating your subject within a discipline, or subdiscipline (Gibson & Lipton, 2014). Even the most seemingly trivial areas of interest can find a home in at least one field of study or practice. For example, the subject of parking on campus is not very substantive at face value, but a deep dive into parking issues on a campus might be supported by research in the following areas:

  • Behavioral Psychology
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Engineering
  • Sports Management
  • Business/Management

If anything can be explored as a research topic, how do we choose from so many possible candidates? Review the video below for tips on how to pick a research topic that is right for you.

2. Finding a Topic You're Curious About

3. Check-in Question

Can you list at least two disciplines (fields of study) related to your potential research topic?