Finding a topic can be the hardest part of doing research. The topic has to be timely, of interest to the research community, include a high level of creativity or uniqueness, should lead to well defined set of results that a researcher can lay claim to, and not something that others have researched or may already be researching.
To find a topic that fits these requirements, it takes some brainstorming.
Talk to your instructors, faculty advisors, graduate students, peers, a librarian, or the research office on campus; it can be very help to talk to someone if you are unsure of how or where to start on a research project.
If you are interested in researching with a faculty member, there are two ways to do so:
Whichever method you choose, it is important to be prepared before contacting and meeting with faculty:
During the meeting, make sure to take notes and write down any key pieces of advice.
Once you have gathered the necessary information, there are two approaches:
Starting your own project requires a lot more initial work and planning before you can truly get started on conducting research. Don't skip this step! Some planning can include:
With all this information, you will be able to complete the project in a strategic and smooth manner and to have a successful project.
Search the library catalog for books, including eBooks, about how to do research. Example of search keywords: "social sciences" research methodology.
Streaming Videos - Kanopy
Search a streaming video database called Kanopy for information on research methods. Search for "research methodology".
http://sjsu.kanopystreaming.com.libaccess.sjlibrary.org (requires sign-in)
The Web Guide to Research for Undergraduates (WebGURU) is an interactive web-based tool intended to assist undergraduates navigate the hurdles of an undergraduate research experience.
Goes through the different steps for conducting a research project - from idea preliminaries to writing the report.
Start Your Research
Answering your research and SJSU Library questions.
Writing a Literature Review
Conducting a literature review is one of the first steps in conducting research. Includes step-by-step instructions on how to write one.
Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval for Human Subjects Research
For research that includes people, students may need to get approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB). This needs to be happen before research begins. Find out more to see if you need to send in a proposal.