Defining a Topic
Whatever topic you choose, it should be one that you are interested in, because you will be working on it for a long time. Be specific about the topic, but not too specific. If your topic is too broad, you will not be able to cover it all, and if your topic is too narrow, you will not have enough to write about it.
To be able to define the topic of your research, read extensively around the topic and get to know the terminology by consulting encyclopaedias, reference works, handbooks, dictionaries and thesauri. You should also check what aspects of the topic have been studied before in theses written on the topic. Check the bibliographies of such theses for potential sources.
To help define your topic and information needs ask yourself questions, such as:
- What is the focus of your reseach?
- What is relevant/irrelevant to your topic?
- What do you already know about the topic?
- Do you need general or scientific information?
- What do you need the information for?