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Research Process

Introduction for "Identify and Develop Topic"

Identify and Develop Your Topic

One of the first steps of any research project is identifying and developing your topic. Use the drop-down tabs to help you with this stage of the research process.

Remember, the research process is not a linear process. You do not have to go step by step. You may find you need to go back and revise, alter, or even add or take away information at any point during your research.

Graphic for Topic Development

Tips for Topic



  • Choose a topic that is relevant and stays within the guidelines of the assignment. Read instructions carefully and discuss any concerns you have with your instructor.‚Äč

  • Try to pick something that interests you. This can help make the process more enjoyable as you will likely spend a great amount of time researching.

  • Choose a topic that has a reasonable amount of available information. Do a basic search to see if there is too much or not enough information for your topic.

  • Create an outline to help you construct and organize your paper. You will revise this along the way, but an initial outline will help you clarify your research needs.

  • If you are having trouble narrowing down a topic, see your instructor or a research librarian for further assistance.

Additional links for topic

For more help with identifying and developing a topic visit:

Purdue University Writing Lab

Credit for Page

This page was created by Magen Nosworthy (Fall 2018 ENGL 489)