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PSYC 2700 - Abnormal Psychology: Choosing a Topic

Choosing a Topic

The first step in any research assignment is to choose a topic. It is necessary to have a well-defined topic to guide you as you work through the research process. Keep in mind that students are generally more motivated to complete research assignments when the topic is of some interest or importance to them, so choose something that you want to learn more about.

Begin by gathering some background information about your topic from sources like your course textbook or subject encyclopedias (these can also be great sources for ideas if you have not yet selected a topic). Get a general idea of what the topic includes and generate a list of terms or “keywords” that are associated with your topic.

Consider the length and scope of the assignment when selecting a topic. Make sure that you will be able to completely address your topic/research question in the space and/or time that the assignment allows. Also keep in mind that you may need to expand or narrow your topic to meet this aim.

Google It!

While most of the sources that you find in a Google search are not academic (and in some cases, may not even credible sources), Google can still be a great resource for topic exploration. Just be sure to carefully evaluate all of the sources that you find in a Google search. (Refer to Lakeland Library's page on evaluating information for more guidance.)

Use what you find in your initial web search (ideas, keyword terms, etc.) to further explore the topic in academic sources, such as books and journals.

Google Web Search

Psychology Reference Books

Web Resources

The following web resources may be helpful for exploring psychological disorder topics of interest to you.

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