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S371 Social Work Research - Jill Chonody: Choosing a Topic

This guide is for the online class S371 taught by Jill Chonody.

Chooosing a Topic

You will have to narrow down your research topic whether the topic comes from your professor or you choose it yourself. You may know the aspect of a topic you want to research; however, if you need help with this, below are some tips on how to do this.

For example, you have to write a paper on autism; there are various aspects of autism to write about. To narrow down this topic, ask the basic questions:

  • Who? - Race, ethnicity, age, gender, students, etc.
  • What? - Social issues, ethical considerations, medical concerns, discrimination, etc.
  • When? - Historical overview, current developments, future progress, etc.
  • Where? - Regional, nationally, workplace, college, etc.

By applying one or two questions, you can narrow down your topic.

If you are still having trouble narrowing down your topic, search the internet to see what is being discussed. At this point, you are not looking for resources. You are just looking on the web to generate ideas for your research topic. You can also consult the database Credo Reference to help narrow down your topic.

Finding a Research Topic

Developing a Topic