Choosing and Refining Topics

How to Find a Topic

Don Zimmerman, Journalism and Technical Communication Professor
I look at topics from a problem solving perspective and scientific method. Topics emerge from writers working on the job when they're in the profession, following major trends, developments, issues, etc. From the scientific perspective, topics emerge based on solid literature reviews and developing an understanding of the paradigm. From these then come the specific problems/topics/subjects that professionals or scientists address.

Writers generate topics from their professional expertise, their understanding of the issues in their respective disciplines, and their understanding the science that has gone before them.

While your first impulse may be to dash off to the library to dig through books and journals once you've received an assignment, you might also consider other information sources available to you.

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Introduction