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Research Without Pain: 1a. Choose a Topic

Research can be fun if you follow these simple steps.

TIP:

In your journal, record spontaneously those quotations, ideas, questions, observations, and associations that move you, 
the reader. Also record the page where you can later find the source of your responses.

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Choose a Topic

"Do not hunt for subjects, let them choose you, not you them." --Samuel Butler

Choosing a topic is the first step in the research process. It is itself a process and is facilitated by close reading of the primary text, aided by a reading journal. Here are the steps:

  1. Growing awareness of interesting qualities within the primary text
  2. Choosing an area of interest for research
  3. Asking productive questions that help explore and evaluate a topic
  4. Creating a preliminary research question
  5. Revising and refining to form a working thesis


Still stuck? Use this handy THESIS BUILDER  to help choose a topic.