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HOW TO CHOOSE A GOOD PROJECT TOPIC


HOW TO CHOOSE A GOOD PROJECT TOPIC

First of all before a research student can choose a good project topic, the individual should be able to study their environment and the country he is in.

Some of the important things to consider before choosing a project topic are the following:

BACKGROUND RESEARCH

What is Background Research?

Background research is the research that you do before you start writing your paper or working on your project.  The background forms the first section of a research article/thesis and justifies the need for conducting the study and summarizes what the study aims to achieve.

 It will help you develop your topic and sharpen, refine or change it in more perfects ways. Knowing more about your topic's background can only help you develop a more effective topic, and therefore, research paper.

The background of your study will provide context to the information discussed throughout the research paper. Background information may include both important and relevant studies. This is particularly important if a study either supports or refutes your thesis.

In addition, the background of the study will discuss your problem statement, rationale, and research questions. It links introduction to your research topic and ensures a logical flow of ideas.  Thus, it helps readers understand your reasons for conducting the study.

Some characteristics of a good background study:

·        It is a summary of your interpretation of previous research and what your study proposes to accomplish.

·        It need to give a general concept of the issue then narrowed it to the specific by indicating the need to focus on the specific issue.

·        The ‘background’ must analyse a situation stating the problem or need statement.

·        You should indicate your hypothesis and the assumptions with all the background logic.

·        The rational and justification for taking up the study must be given. This generally includes the project rationale, research hypothesis or research question, and a brief review of literature 

·        . It also depicts your motivation for the study.

 

BRAINSTORM CONCEPTS

Brainstorming is a group problem-solving method that involves the spontaneous contribution of creative ideas and solutions. This technique requires intensive, freewheeling discussion in which every member of the group is encouraged to think aloud and suggest as many ideas as possible based on their diverse knowledge.

Once you think of a broad topic that interests you, try to brainstorm all of the words or concepts you can that might be related to that topic (and write them down!). For example, if your topic is water, you have to comb through every branch of water topics including chemical reaction of water, types of water, how to get clean water through purification, etc.

Brainstorming techniques helps your team innovates and work collaboratively underlying a four great principles that include:

Ø  Quantity over quality

Ø  Withhold criticism. 

Ø  Welcome the crazy ideas

Ø  Combine, refine, and improve ideas. 

 

Why is brainstorming important?

They can be very effective for generating new ideas, and finding solutions to a problem. This is largely due to the many advantages of brainstorming that help teams work more collaboratively towards a common goal.

Some of the advantages of brainstorming for businesses and individual productivity include:

a.    Brainstorming allows people to think more freely, without fear of criticism

b.    Brainstorming encourages open and ongoing collaboration to solve problems and generate innovative ideas and team work.

c.    Brainstorming helps teams generate a large number of ideas quickly, refining  and merging to create the ideal solution.

d.    Brainstorming allows teams to reach conclusions by consensus, leading to a more well-rounded and better informed path forward.

e.    Brainstorming helps team members feel more comfortable bouncing ideas off one another, even outside of a structured session.

f.     Brainstorming introduces different perspectives, and opens the door to out-of-the-box innovations.

g.    Brainstorming helps team members get ideas out of their heads and into the world, where they can be expanded upon, refined, and put into action.

h.    Brainstorming is great for team building.

 

DEVELOP A RESEARCH QUESTION

What is a research topic?

A research question is a question that a study or research project aims to answer. This question often addresses an issue or a problem, which, through analysis and interpretation of data, is answered in the study’s conclusion.

There are three types of research questions:

Ø  Quantitative research is the process of collecting and analyzing numerical data. It can be used to find patterns and averages, make predictions, test causal relationships, and generalize results to wider populations. You can use quantitative research methods for descriptive, correlation or experimental research.

Ø  Qualitative research involves collecting and analyzing non-numerical data (e.g., text, video, or audio) to understand concepts. It can be used to gather in-depth insights into a problem or generate new ideas for research. Qualitative research is the opposite of quantitative research, which involves collecting and analyzing numerical data for statistical analysis.

 

Ø  Mixed-methods studies are the use of both quantitative and qualitative research methods.

 

STEPS IN DEVELOPING A REARCH QUESTION:

1. Start with a broad topic.

A broad topic provides researchers with plenty of avenues to explore in their search for a viable research question. Techniques to help you develop a topic into subtopics and potential research questions include brainstorming and concept mapping.

2. Do preliminary research to learn about topical issues.

Once you have picked a topic, you can start doing preliminary research. This initial stage of research accomplishes two goals. First, a preliminary review of related literature allows you to discover issues that are currently being discussed by scholars and fellow researchers.

3. Narrow down your topic and determine potential research questions.

Once you have gathered enough knowledge on the topic you want to pursue, you can start focusing on a more specific area of study. One option is to focus on gaps in existing knowledge or recent literature.

4. Evaluate the soundness of your research question.

Your initial research and review of related literature will have produced some interesting questions that seem like they’re worth pursuing. However, not all interesting questions make for sound research questions

5. Construct your research question properly.

Once you have come up with a broad topic and done some background research, you may want to develop a research question, or a question you're going to answer in your paper by doing more, in-depth research.

 

WHAT'S YOUR GENERAL APPROACH TO THE TOPIC?

Think about some general approaches that may help you further develop your topic: use a historical angle by focusing on a particular time period; a geographical angle, focusing on a particular part of the world; or a sociological angle, focusing on a particular group of people.

 Focusing a research topic is narrowing (or sometimes broadening) a topic so that you can demonstrate a good understanding of it, including enough examples and important details, within the size limits of the project you are required to produce.

Tips for Deciding on a Research Topic 

  • Read the assignment requirements carefully. If you are unsure what topic would be relevant, talk to your professor.
     
  • Choose a topic you find interesting. 
     
  • Find out how others have written about your topic.
     
  • Consider your topic's scope. How broad or narrow is it?

 

START DOING SOME EXPLORATORY, IN-DEPTH RESEARCH.

 What is in depth research?

In-depth research is research to find sources that support your thesis, based on your preliminary research and topic.

 

As you do more in-depth research, like looking for scholarly articles, books, and other sources to include in your paper, you can and probably will modify or refine your topic based on what you find.

Why is important to do an in-depth research on a topic:

  • It's a tool for building knowledge and facilitating learning.
  • It's a means to understand issues and increase public awareness.
  • It helps us succeed in business.
  • It allows us to disprove lies and support truths.
  • It is a means to find, gauge, and seize opportunities.
  • It promotes a love of and confidence in reading, writing, analyzing, and sharing valuable information.
  • It provides nourishment and exercise for the mind.

·        It expands your knowledge base

·        Research gives you the latest information

·        It helps you know what you’re up against

·        It builds your credibility

·        It helps you narrow your scope

·        It teaches you better discernment

·        It introduces you to new ideas

·        It helps with problem-solving

·        Research helps you reach people

·        Research encourages curiosity

“Do research. Feed your talent. Research not only wins the war on cliché, it's the key to victory over fear and it's cousin, depression.”


LAW