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How to develop a research topic?

Published by Siboniso Malinga on

Conceptualizing a research topic involves not only ‘choosing’ what you want your research paper to speak about. It is identifying a problem that your research aims to define and solve.

This will allow you to evaluate what is already known and what has been done on the topic you wish to explore. As a result, it enables you to identify the gaps in the literature that your study seeks to address and contribute towards.

Here are a few points that will assist in conceptualizing a research topic:

What is the topic?

Identifying a problem will assist you in choosing a research topic. This may be a topic in an area you are passionate about. However, it still requires careful planning, and you must ask yourself a few questions before you embark on it. Here are some of the questions you need to explore first:

  1. Will this topic contribute to new knowledge and existing literature?
  2. Will it be achievable with your available resources and within reach?
  3. Does the level of the study complement the degree you are pursuing?
  4. Will the research on the topic be justifiable in an academic and general world, with the background information you will explore as part of your literature review?
  5. Which type of analysis will be appropriate for the topic? Will it be valid?
  6. What are some of the approaches that can assist in exploring this topic?

These questions are a form of guideline for conceptualizing a topic. If you can provide substantial responses about your potential research topic, you are well on your way to start exploring your research project.

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