Answered By: Katie Hoskins
Last Updated: Aug 29, 2016     Views: 36

Turning a topic into a research question can be tricky. Here are some tips:

> Try to pick an aspect of your topic that sparks your personal interest. For example, you might be assigned a paper on diabetes for a biology class while you have a personal interest in fitness. Try creating a question about physical fitness and the onset of diabetes to merge your interest with an aspect of your assigned topic.

> Find background information on your topic. Use these databases like you would a Wikipedia article -- to explore a topic which might include historical information, key terms, main issues, and more.

> Use NOVA resources that discuss the current research in your topic area. NOVA Libraries contain thousands of books and journals in our print and online collections that include the latest ideas and issues related to various areas of study. These resources contain essays written from a variety of perspectives that can inspire you to create a workable research question.

> Ask your professor for guidance. When in doubt, always ask your professor about your topic. They can tell you whether it meets the assignment criteria and whether your topic is too broad or too narrow.

> Once you have identified a topic and created a research question, you will need to identify keywords to help you find additional resources to support your thesis.

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