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Identifying the Inquiry and Stating the Problem

Guidelines in Choosing a Research Topic

Sources of Research Topics
It is also necessary for you to know where a good research topic may come from. Knowing some
sources of probable research topics could hasten your choosing. Freeing you from a prolonged
time of pondering over a problem of knowing which problem is good for you to research on. The
following can help you generate ideas about a good research topic.
Research Topics to be Avoided
Interest in the subject matter
Your interest in a topic may be caused by your rich background knowledge about it and by its
novelty; meaning, its unfamiliarity to you. Your real interest in a subject pushes you to research,
investigate or inquire about it with full motivation, enthusiasm and energy.
Availability of Information
Collecting a lot of information as evidence to support your claims about your subject matter from
varied forms of literature like books, journals and newspapers is a part and parcel of any research
work. In choosing a research topic, visit your library to check the availability of reading
materials on your topic.
Timeliness and relevance of the topic
The topic is relevant if it yields results that are instrumental in societal improvement. Unless it is
a pure or historical research, a research on the ins and outs of people's revolutionary acts will
prosper more if it tackles the contemporary revolutionary action rather than those in ancient time.
Limitations on the subject
This makes you link in your choosing with course requirements. In this case, you have no
freedom to choose your topic based on your interest, but has to decide on one topic to finish your
Personal resource
Before sticking fully to your final choice, assess your research abilities in terms of financial
standing, health condition, mental capacity, needed facilities and time allotment to enable you to
complete your research.
Controversial topics
These are topics that depend greatly on the writer's opinion, which may tend to be biased or
prejudicial. Facts cannot support topics like these.
Highly technical subjects
Researching on topics that require an advance study, technical knowledge, and vast experience is
a very difficult task.
Hard to investigate subjects
A subject are hard to investigate if there are no available reading materials about it and if such
materials are not up-to-date
Too narrow subjects
These subjects are so limited or specific that an extensive or thorough searching or reading for
information about these is necessary.
Vague subjects
Choosing topics like these will prevent your from having a clear focus in your paper. Titles
beginning with indefinite adjectives such as several, many, some, etc. like "Some Remarkable
Traits of a Filipino" are vague enough to decrease the readers' interests and curiosity.
Too broad subjects
Topics that are too broad will prevent your from giving a concentrated or an in-depth analysis of
the subject matter of the paper. The remedy to this is to a narrow or limit the topic to a smaller
Mass media communication
What is Mass media communication?
Those are the variety of ways used to communicate with very large audiences such as the
population of a city or entire country. It include books, magazines, newspapers, radio, television,
film, and now the Internet.
Other references
Peer-reviewed journals
Government publications
Professional periodicals
Examples are:

College English Language Teaching Forum

English Forum
Business Circle
Law Review
General Periodicals
Examples are:

Readers' Digest
Women's Magazine
Panorama Magazine
Time Magazine
World Mission Magazine
Other works
It can be your Previous reading assignment in your other subjects
Work Experience
Clues to a researchable topic from full-time or part time jobs, OJT (on the job training)
experience, fieldwork, etc.
Based on Jim Harvey's speech structures

one of the preliminary steps to completing a thesis is the background study for it. The
background study for a thesis includes a review of the area being researched, current information
surrounding the issue, previous studies on the issue, and relevant history on the issue. Ideally, the
study should effectively set forth the history and background information on your thesis problem.
The purpose of a background study is to help you to prove the relevance of your thesis question
and to further develop your thesis.


Research Question •

Can be derived from a wide variety of contents. •

Can be prompted by your own personal interest or experience. •

Can also be prompted by a theory that you are very much interested.


They should be clear, in the sense of being intelligible.

• They should be researchable

• They should have some connection(s) with established theory and research.

• Your research questions should be linked to each other.

• They should at the very least hold out the prospect of being able to make an original

• The research questions should be neither too broad nor too narrow
Scope and Delimitation & Benefits and Beneficiaries

Problem Statement

Write An opening sentence that entices the reader and stimulates his or her interest to read about
your research problem.

Objectives of the Research

Indicate what the research will do, for instance, discover (grounded theory), explain or seek to
understand (ethnography), explore a process (case study) and describe the experiences

Scope and Delimitation of research

Indicate the boundaries, exceptions, reservations and qualifications in your study.

Sometimes referred to as “Delimitations and Limitations” Delimitations – used to address how

the study will be narrowed in scope. Limitations – Used to identify potential weaknesses of the

Significance of Research Mention and elaborate on the central focus or phenomenon being
explored or understood in the study.

Target Audience Your target audience is linked to the significance of your research. Who would
be interested in or who would find your study a worthwhile investigation.

1. True or False 1. Research question come from any of several sources, namely, personal
interest and experiences. 2. The research question should be either too broad or too
narrow. 3. Objectives of the Research. Sometimes this section is referred to as
Delimitations and Limitations
2. 13. 4. Scope and Delimitation or research indicate the boundaries, exceptions, reservation
and qualification in your study. 5. Objectives of the research, indicate what will the
research will do, for instance, discover, explain or seek.