How to Choose a Project Topic?
Are you already thinking about how to choose a project topic? The production of a project is one of the most challenging times that face students. Not only because it is a definitive stage in their career, where they must demonstrate all their academic potential, but because they must create an idea that represents a contribution to the subject and can serve as an inspiration to other students and professionals.
Choosing a suitable project topic is key if you want to do quality work; therefore, we bring you some tips to achieve it. If you are not comfortable with the chosen subject, the elaboration process will be tedious and will not make one shine as student. You will also run the risk of leaving the project half done, for not having enough inspiration and drive to follow it through.
Instead, having a suitable project topic, which is interesting to us, will be an impulse to work harder and give the best of ourselves.
In this article, we will discuss several tips that help to know how to choose research topics, especially in those fields of knowledge related to the social sciences, and humanities.
9 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Project Topic
The choice of theme depends on several factors. If you have the freedom to choose it, you can base your decision depending on our degree of knowledge on the subject and the desire to generate a new contribution.
Choosing a project topic that we already know allows us to move faster and deeper while choosing a topic that we do not know much about offers the possibility of acquiring new knowledge and growing as professionals.
If you are about to write your project, we have dropped some tips that will help you select the right topic and make your work easier.
1. Search research compilers
Quality research findings are regularly published in many places on the Internet. Sweeping through these web pages or Twitter profiles (a place where many researchers are dedicated to disseminating their contents or those of their colleagues) is of great help to, in a short time, have clues from which you can continue the search.
2. Select the most interesting topics
From the previous step, choose the areas that you are interested in and categorise them according to the degree to which each of them motivates you. As we have already said, it is vitally important that the topic you choose is of interest to you so that you can dedicate yourself to researching it for a whole year without getting bored. An interesting topic will also be a plus to the subject and a game-changer for the project.
3. Select keywords
Each research topic contains a semantic tree of keywords. For example, in psychology, there are concepts of bias, cognitive dissonance, or heuristics. All of them create a nebula of ideas from which a question can be posed. For example, you can enter them in search engines for scientific articles, such as Google Scholar.
4. Read the first sections of the papers
The vast majority of papers published in academic journals have, on their first pages, a comment on the latest findings and a section that summarizes the state of a specific line of research, proposing hypotheses and opposing explanatory models, and highlighting the evidence for and against each of the ideas. In this way, you will get a more global idea about what the topic’s central theme is and with what type of information you can count on to investigate.
5. Look for the amount of information available
Some lines of research are more developed than others. Even if there is a topic that interests you a lot, you may not have enough information to investigate the materials in your care. You will not be able to research a topic for which there is no previous research and work. You need a good amount of materials and sources to consult in the discussion of your project and create quality work with important academic support.
A project is not only working on a subject associated with an idea. It is also a contribution to the subject where a current subject is questioned, and different perspectives and ways of approaching it are shown. Remember this when choosing your theme.
6. Imagine interactions between variables
Based on what you know about a specific topic, imagine an original question that has not been directly addressed by other researchers. For example, you can see if a phenomenon studied by others is true in a region of the planet that nobody has focused on before.
7. Ask a question
One of the fundamental aspects of knowing how to choose a research topic is transforming the topic that interests you into a question. Only in this way will you establish concretely what your research will be about: pointing out what is that knowledge gap that you will try to fill with new information. In this way, there will be no ambiguities, and there will be no confusion when developing the project. It is necessary that from the beginning you delimit the topic that you are going to work on, you can detail it in the introduction of the project so that the readers know well what will be treated and how it will be addressed.
Technically, you already have a research topic, but there is still one step to finish choosing.
8. Decide if you have what it takes
Is it realistic to research that? Some topics are relatively easy to deal with, as there is a lot of data available from other sources. Still, sometimes you have to pay to access this information or, even, they do not exist, and you must collect original information through hundreds of questionnaires or equally expensive methods. Decide if it compensates you.
You must not only like the topic you choose for your project, but it must also be aligned to your strengths and abilities. In this way, the analysis will be much easier, and you can improve your skills.
At this point, you have certainly chosen a topic, however, there is one additional factor that you should consider before you make that final decision, is the research expandable?
9. You should not limit your further studies
Your undergraduate project should help you pursue your career and be an impetus for further study. If, for example, you study history and in the future, you want to work with a policy institute, your thesis should be directed to this area to ensure better preparation on the subject.
From the above, it is obvious that the topic development process is a vital aspect of project writing. Getting it right at this stage is as good as taking a huge step towards completion of the project; due to the fact that you are going to be setting goals, creating a timeline of when you want to achieve your goals, gather resources and analyse the whole idea before you put it in as a topic worthy to be researched.