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Student Research Guide

Choosing a Topic

In collaboration with your academic advisor and mentor, your Personal Librarian is an invaluable resource to assist you in conducting advanced research and thesis writing. Schedule a research consultation with your Personal Librarian early on as he/she can help you with the following:

  • Choosing a topic
  • Narrowing a topic to be more manageable
  • Locating resources at Georgetown University as well as in other libraries
  • Making sure the research process goes smoothly

You can also review other theses that have been submitted at Digital Georgetown for ideas about topic selection, scope, arrangement, and sophistication of honors thesis projects. 

Recommended Resources

Choosing a topic and subsequently conducting research is a form of problem solving.  When you begin work on a thesis, the most important step is determining the question underpinning the topic you aim to explore.  

  • Picking a topic is intertwined with finding, reading sources and writing. 
  • Test a topic by conducting exploratory research.
  • Look for published articles or books, (a few…)
  • Often what occurs is the published articles and books often leads away from the original topic. This is expected.
  • Writers often go through this cycle several times before they have enough information to begin writing/editing a paper. 
  • Even then, you will have to go back and find additional articles and books.