Selecting a topic is the first step in the research process, and it's not always an easy task. You may feel overwhelmed and uncertain at the beginning. Here are some suggestions to help you choose an appropriate topic.
Once you have selected a topic, try to gain an overview of the scope, background, theories, important figures, significant events, and issues surrounding it. Books, articles, and authoritative web resources are always helpful.
You may also find subject encyclopedias and handbooks particularly useful for background information. A subject encyclopedia or handbook provides explanations of the field’s terminology and jargon, introduces you to subtopics, and leads you to other relevant sources through bibliographies at the end of entries. In addition, cross-references provided by the index can broaden your view of the topic.
You may find consulting two online resources helpful as you search for background information on your topic: Credo Reference and Research Starters - Education.
Remember to be flexible about your topic. As you explore a subject and the available research, you may decide to revise your original topic by narrowing or expanding the scope of your research. Or, you might decide to change your topic entirely. Starting your research early will give you the greatest flexibility.