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A research topic is a subject or issue that a researcher is interested in when conducting research. A well-defined research topic is the starting point of every successful research project. Choosing a topic is an ongoing process by which researchers explore, define, and refine their ideas. There are four steps for defining a research topic, each of which is discussed in turn in this entry.

Step 1: Getting Ideas

Often the most difficult part of the research process is selecting a topic. Students may encounter two problems: too many ideas or no idea at all. On one hand, some students might have lots of ideas. They are interested in online gaming, video sharing, interpersonal conflict, advertising effects, and the representation of women by mass media. They ...

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