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Choosing a Research Topic: Finding an Angle

What makes a good topic and how do you pick one?

Finding Your Angle or Perspective

A research assignment needs more than just a topic. Research is problem-solving with information. It is more than a simple report of what is already known.

As you brainstorm a topic, you will probably find something within that topic to investigate. This is called an angle. The angle is a smaller, more specific element within the larger topic. The angles is what you will investigate with the context of the larger topic.

Once you have an angle, create a question about what you want to investigate. This research question shapers and guides your search for sources and ultimately your paper.

  • Assignment: What does it require? Are there specific criteria to meet, such as informative, argumentative, or problem/solution?
  • Topic: Brainstorm possible topics that fit the assignment. Consider topics you are interested in and care about
  • Angle: What smaller part of the topic can you focus on? Within this big topic, what are you most curious about? (Procon.org can be a good source for thinking about angles).
  • Question: Ask a question about your angle. Conduct research to find a potential answer to your question.

The process flow is illustrated in these images.

a graphic representation of the flow from assignment to topic to angle to questiongraphic illustration of a topic flowing from informative to addiction to causes to environment or hereditary

 


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