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How To Do Research: Selecting a Research Topic

An introductory guide on the research process for graduate students.

Selecting a Research Topic

The foundation for a great research report is a great research topic. Defining it at the beginning of the research process will provide you with a road map for your research journey, and, ultimately, save you time as you progress through your research.

A good research topic will possess the following characteristics:

  • Related research that is accessible and manageable
  • Interesting, relevant, and feasible
  • Worthy of your time

When considering a research topic, do background work on each of your options in order to ensure the topic is appropriate and manageable. Make sure you are able to find enough information about your topic; if you only find current information about your topic in news or magazine sources, then the topic may be too recent to have a significant published body of scholarly studies you can use to support your own research.

While there is not a list of research topics you can choose from, there are techniques you can use to help you define a research topic. See the subtabs on this page for tips on choosing a research topic. 

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Research Appointments

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The CSU librarians can support you during the research process with personalized reference services. We are happy to help you with the following tasks:

  • Accessing and using the CSU Library databases in order to create a peer-reviewed literature review with library resources
  • Using free personalized database folders within multiple database platforms to organize your research
  • Brainstorming keywords and recommending search limiters to use
  • Locating the dissertations and theses that may support and inform your research process