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SCI 101: Prof. Nocella's Classes: Selecting A Topic

Selecting a Topic

When choosing a topic in the physical sciences, think about what interests you. Think about areas such as the solar system, genetically modified food, robotics, nanotechnology, etc.

Want to browse more topics for ideas? Try these links:

Narrowing your Research Topic

Once you decide on a topic, you will need to narrow it down. Consider the questions: Who, What, When, Where & Why as it applies to your topic.

For example, if you are interesting in researching lead in drinking water, consider:

WHO- The water in people's homes? In schools? Is a specific company or group of people involved?

WHAT- What causes the lead in the water? What is being done about this? What side effects (if any) does this cause? Does it impact health?

WHEN- Is this happening now? Has it ever happened in the past? Is it expected to continue into the future?

WHERE- The drinking water in a specific location- such as Flint, Michigan? Perhaps in a local area? Or another country?

WHY- Why is this happening? 

If you are having a hard time narrowing your topic, you may want to read more about it. Learning more about your topic may lead you to more specific questions, interests and ideas. Try this database for short, factual articles on a wide-variety of topics: