Research is a disciplined enquiry or systematic investigation aimed at providing solutions to problems. Research is conducted by scholars in different fields to advance their knowledge and it can also lead to discovery of new knowledge; thus progressing knowledge.
A researcher must think carefully about what the research is going to be about, that is, the research topic or research problem. Research topic can thus be defined as the research question the researcher’s enquiry is going to answer in the study. It is the subject the researcher is interested in when doing his enquiry.
When choosing a research topic, the researcher should consider the following factor:
i. The topic must be appealing to the researcher, that is, it must be about a subject that he or she has interest in. in this way, the research will selflessly engage in the study.
ii. The research topic should be appropriate for the course he or she is studying; in this way, it will help in expanding his or her knowledge on the subject matter in the subject or field of study.
iii. The topic must not be about a recycled subject, it must be an issue which advances knowledge or even leading to creation or innovation of new knowledge.
iv. The research topic or problem should be specific, that is, not general. In this way, the study can be done within specific bounds.
v. The topic the research intends to dive into should be one that has sufficient reading materials. The research must therefore do a proper background check on the availability of reading material. This will make the enquiry process easy as the research tools and materials will be at his or her disposal. The researcher must therefore a certain that there is sufficient data available and in case of field experiment, he or she must be in a position to obtain them.
vi. The topic for research should not be oversized. The researched therefore should select a topic which studied within a set of SMART objectives.
vii. The researcher should choose a topic which can be studied within the time bounds given by the university or the institution to which the research is intended for.
viii. Controversial topics such as those of religion should be avoided. The do evoke emotions and in some case collecting data about them can be extremely difficult.
ix. The researcher should avoid trivial topics. Topics of little value or importance as they may neither contribute to advancement of knowledge nor discovery of new knowledge. It there make no sense to waste resources and time making enquiries into such topics
x. In choosing a research topic, the researcher should know his financial ability. In this way, he or she can choose a topic which is within his or financial means. Planning, designing and collecting data (may involve logistic factors) all need resources thus the cost should be clear in the researchers mind. Proper financial planning, that is, budgeting will ensure availability of resources need for research and thus research will go till the end and not stalling due to lack of the same.
With the above factors considered, a good research topic should have the following qualities.
A good research topic should be specific. It should not be general, that is, wide in terms of its scope. A researcher should pick a topic that focuses on a particular aspect of a subject. A specific topic is that which has enough information to examine the subject in detail. The researcher should avoid topics that are too broad or too narrow.
A researcher’s topic must be clear and easily understandable. A clear topic will have a single interpretation. This kind of interpretation without ambiguity will help the researcher to focus on the topic and undertake it; thus giving a clear direction in terms of research methodology to be used. In addition, the topic should be clear in the researcher’s mind so that he can properly undertake it.
A researcher should choose a topic that is relevant to events and happenings now. It must be timely in relation to current issues. The research topic or problem should not only be of significance to the researcher but should also be of consequence to other, that is, those in the field of study as well as the larger community.
4. Well-defined and well-phrased
The research topic should be constructed in a way that eliminates ambiguity. Anyone reading your research topic should interpret it to have a single meaning. Therefore a good research topic must always give readers single interpretation in terms of meaning and easy to understand.
5. The language
A researcher should frame his or her research topic in a simple language. Technical terms which might limit interpretation by many people should be avoided. Remember that language choice might sometimes discriminate; therefore any choice of technical term must be well thought of. Unethical terms or sentences should not be used whatsoever in a research topic; this may introduce negative criticism and even not accepted among readers.
6. The titling
The rules of titling must be observed and strictly adhered to when writing a research topic. Research topic therefore must be simple, written in appropriate descriptive words, and without abbreviations or jargon. Good titling condenses the paper’s content in a few words, captures the readers’ attention and differentiates the research paper from other papers of the same subject area.
7. Current importance
A researcher should also be up to date about happenings and events in his or her field of study or interest. Being updated will allow him or her to choose a topic of importance and avoid those that obsolete or those that seem not to attract any attention. In addition, the research should explore the extent to which his or her research topic will be of benefit to the field of study in which he or she is conducting the study.