ACSR: Foundations of Academic Success

Selecting a Topic

Read Background Information

Read background information (i.e an encyclopedia article) on the top two topics you are considering.  Reading background information will provide you with a general overview of the topics you are considering. It will also provide you with ideas for ways you can narrow or focus your topic.

Focus Your Topic

  • Keep your topic manageable. A topic will be difficult to research, if it is too broad or narrow.
  • If your topic is too broad it may be difficult to find focused and relevant information.
  • It may also be hard to find information on a very narrow topic. If your topic is highly focused, you'll need to be more flexible in your search strategy. For example, if you're interested in juvenile justice on the southside of Chicago, try also widening your search to juvenile justice within urban areas


Research Question Examples:

What is the impact of school suspensions on the likelihood of juvenile arrests?

What are the disparities in mental health and substance abuse services for incarcerated juveniles?