It's very important that you find topics that will allow you to demonstrate good writing and research techniques. Think of it, you are creating a product that's never been created before. You are becoming part of a conversation with your sources (materials you use for information) and your audience. In order to use sources, have the correct amount of content (not too little and not too much), and to meet the instructor's directions, you must pick a topic very carefully.
Personal Issue - I like dogs.
Social Issue - Owning dogs can have many health benefits.
Social Issue with Supporting points - Dog ownership benefits include lower stress and lower blood pressure. Dog owners are also more active than non-dog owners (Zorthian, J. "More Evidence That Owning a Dog Is Really Good for You").
Zorthia, Julia. "More Evidence That Owning a Dog Is Really Good for You." Time.com, 24 July 2017. Retrieved from time.com/4870796/dog-owners-benefits/. Accessed 3 July 2018.
Personal: I like Snapchat.
Social Issue: Snapchat is used mostly by teenagers.
Social Issue with Supporting Points: Snapchat, used mostly by teenagers, has a dangerous side which includes bullying, stalking, and the risk of social media addiction.
Examples of research questions:
We all have our interests and do some sort of research, whether it be Google Searching or just discussing interests with friends, but how do we take it to the academic standard that your instructors expect in college?
Personal Searching: Social media, Wikis, Quora, eHow, Reddit, friends/peers
Academic Searching: Library Databases, .gov, .org, Any source with authority, experts/authorities, no Wikipedia, no Social Media unless you can trace the origins of the story to a reputable souce
Some questions that can be asked to help determine if a research question is appropriate for academic research:
• Can the question be answered yes or no?
• Can the question be answered in one sentence or a single paragraph?
• Have entire books been written to answer this question?
• Would this question be answered by compiling a set of facts or a list?
• Would answering this question help someone else who has an interest in this topic?
Narrow topic by asking:
who – a person, organization, demographic group
what – an event, theory, discovery
where – a country, region, defined geographic space
when – a time span, century, period of time (Victorian era)
why – describe what is significant about this topic
It is challenging to determine whether information from the Web is credible and can be trusted. Is it factual? Biased? Relevant to your topic?
Here is a handy acronym to help you determine if a source may be CRAP.