You should be thinking about it at the start of the course.There are generally three ways you are asked to write about a research problem: 1) your professor provides you with a general topic from which you study a particular aspect; 2) your professor provides you with a list of possible topics to study and you choose a topic from that list; or, 3) your professor leaves it up to you to choose a topic and you only have to obtain permission to write about it before beginning your investigation.It represents the core subject matter of scholarly communication, and the means by which we arrive at other topics of conversations and the discovery of new knowledge and understanding.
In that case, you can choose another from the list.
Just don’t wait too long to make a switch and, of course, be sure to inform your professor that you are changing your topic.: Under this scenario, the key process is turning an idea or general thought into a topic that can be configured into a research problem.
You can begin by doing any or all of the following: reading through background information from materials listed in your course syllabus; searching the USC Libraries Catalog to find a recent book on the topic and, if appropriate, more specialized works about the topic; conducting a preliminary review of the research literature using multidisciplinary library databases such as Pro Quest or subject-specific databases from the "By Subject Area" drop down menu located above the list of databases.
Choose the advanced search option feature and enter into each search box the main concept terms you developed in Step 1.
When given an assignment where you choose the research topic, don't begin by thinking about what to write about, but rather, ask yourself the question, "What do I want to know?
" Treat an open-ended assignment as an opportunity to learn about something that's new or exciting to you. "Choosing a Research Topic." Beginning Library and Information Systems Strategies. Jacksonville, FL: University of North Florida Digital Commons, 2014; Alvesson, Mats and Jörgen Sandberg.
: Since social science research papers are generally designed to get you to develop your own ideas and arguments, look for sources that can help broaden, modify, or strengthen your initial thoughts and arguments.
For example, if you decide to argue that the European Union is ill prepared to take on responsibilities for broader global security because of the debt crisis in many EU countries, then focus on identifying sources that support refute this position. In thinking about a research topic to study, don't adopt the mindset of pursuing an esoteric or incredibly complicated topic just to impress your professor but that, in reality, does not have any real interest to you.
Also consider using their synonyms to retrieve relevant articles.
This will help you refine and frame the scope of the research problem.