It's research time, and you need to select a topic...
For some students, there are so many options that they become overloaded with ideas and can't get started. Other students cannot think of anything at all, and develop an acute and crippling case of 'researcher's block'.
There's no need to call for medical attention just yet! Just take a deep breath and work through these steps.
Ask yourself the following questions:
What subjects have you studied before?
What are your hobbies or areas of interest?
What is something you'd like to know more about?
What recent news items have caught your attention?
What questions have you recently asked yourself or others ?
Once you have an idea of the general topic, it's time to brainstorm and have some fun.
Take a large piece of paper. In the centre of the page, in a circle, write down one of your possible topics. Outside the circle, and connected to with a series of spokes, write down everything you can think of about that topic.
When brainstorming, it is best to summarise issues in as few words as possible.
Use words or phrases that summarise the key concepts of the topic;
Write down any questions which arise;
Note your opinions on the topic; and
Note some key words and phrases.
Do not try to analyse the ideas at this stage.
Repeat step 2 for any other topics you have thought of. It will soon become clear to you which one is truly grabbing your attention.
So you really think you've got your topic? It's time to check in with yourself. Ask yourself these two important questions.
Does it interest me? Why?
Does it matter to me? Why?
These two questions important because:
If you aren't interested in something you will quickly lose interest; and
You will most likely need to explain why you choose this topic/question.
If you can't come up with suitable answers - go back to STEP 1.