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Narrowing the Topic
Christine Nowikon 8 August 2012
Transcript of Narrowing the Topic
the research process. You can never be sure of what you might find.
You might find too much information, requiring
you to narrow down your focus, or too little information, requiring you to broaden your focus. Keep in mind the assigned length of the paper. Be aware of the depth of coverage needed and the due date.
These factors might help you decide how much and when you will modify your topic. You will often begin with a word,
develop a more focused interest in an aspect of something related to that word, then begin to have questions about the topic.
Eventually, you'll end up with a research question that your paper will answer. Here are some examples: Idea:
Health and the Military Questions to guide research:
What factors influence the physical
health deployed soldiers?
What factors influence the mental health of deployed soldiers?
What services are in place to ensure sound health?
What ongoing screenings are in place to ensure sound health?
What is the quality of services provided on deployment? From here, find some research on each
of these topics and read it.
What are other people writing
about these ideas? What are some areas
of personal interest? Suppose that my
reading leads me to research
on mental health and the military,
and several articles suggest that
services need to be improved.
Some articles state that X model has worked well with soldiers, some state that Y has worked well, and others state that Z has worked well. Aha! Now I am closer to a workable topic I have learned that
people are writing about this
idea and that I have evidence
to support a position on it.
I now have a good research question: What is the best model
for providing quality mental health services for deployed soldiers? Do you see how we
moved from "military health" to
something specific: Effective
mental health services for deployed
military personnel? You'll do something similar in your own work. Now, back to the course! Click the arrow below to move through the slides